A fundraising drive has started to thank those who helped a dad and his young sons who were seriously injured in a car crash.

Ian McCrickard, 46, and his sons Jack and Harry, from Egremont, were travelling towards Cockermouth on the A5086 last Monday when their car collided with another vehicle at Deanscales.

They suffered serious injuries and were flown to the Royal Victoria Infirmary at Newcastle, with three air ambulances attending the scene.

Christine Colebrook, sister of Ian’s wife Lisa, has set up an online fundraising page for the Great North Air Ambulance, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and the RVI, with an initial target of £200.

She said the incident could have been even worse were it not for the quick action of the emergency services.

“Without the air ambulances they probably wouldn’t be here now,” she said.

“Hopefully everyone is on the mend but it’s going to be a long road to recovery.

“Three air ambulances is apparently very rare for a car accident..

“It’s funded by donations and it must cost them an absolute fortune but you can’t put a price on things like that.

“We really want to get a good amount to split three ways so we can show how appreciative everyone is.”

The target was smashed in a matter of days and the total is now close to a staggering £2,000.

Christine admitted she has been blown away by the kindness of donors, having had no idea what to expect when she set the page up, and is now considering organising a charity night.

She added: “I didn’t know how much to expect but I thought anything was better than nothing.

“I’m absolutely gobsmacked by that amount and it just shows that everybody wants to support them.”