Pictures by SWNS
This is the moment a Bristol cyclist was trapped under a car which ran him over – until a group of rescuers lifted the vehicle off him.
The victim was crushed under the Ford Focus was it accelerated forward to join a main road in Shirehampton at 8.20am on Monday. His head became wedged under the vehicle’s gear box and his left shoulder and upper body were pinned by the rest of the car.
A trio of onlookers quickly rushed over to help the man – who was wearing a helmet – used a car jack to lift the Focus and take some of the weight off his body.
Solicitor Andrew Ray, 54, then crawled underneath the vehicle to hold the man’s hand and stop him from knocking the jack out of the way as he writhed in agony.
Emergency crews praised Mr Ray and other passers-by who stopped to help and said their actions “undoubtedly” saved the cyclist from more serious injuries.
But defence solicitor Andrew played down their actions as “simply a case of people getting it right”.
He said: “I thought we were going to help a woman bump start her car, but as I got to the far side of it I was greeted by this horrendous scene of a bike lying on the pavement and a pair of legs sticking out from under the car.
“There was a child’s seat on the back of the bike so initially I feared the worst. It was bad enough having an adult under there but you don’t want to think about a child.
“One chap had got out of another car and was trying to jack up the side of the car and shouting for help and to get another jack on the back.
“But we realised that it wasn’t getting the car high enough. We weren’t trying to pull the man very hard, because you could tell the pressure of the car was on him.
“His legs were thrashing about and he was shouting and groaning in pain. The three of us were fighting like lions to get this car off him.”
The cyclist was conscious, despite being trapped under the heaviest part of the car during the ordeal, which happened at a junction in Shirehampton.
Mr Ray, who lives in Westbury-on-Trym, had been alerted to the accident by another driver who did a U-turn in front of him and waved him down to help.
He took his car’s jack and crawled under the front of the car to crank it up off the man’s head, where he waited for five minutes as ambulance crews arrived.
“I could see that he couldn’t move because his head was wedged by the gear box of the car,” he said. ”I crawled under, got my jack under the gear box and cranked it up for what seemed like an eternity. Having raised it I was then able to move his head sideways, which gave him some relief.
“He was lashing out with his hand in agony so I lay there under the engine gripping his hand to make sure he didn’t knock the jack away.
“It was terrifying. I remember thinking, ‘my feet are sticking out in the carriageway, and if anything happens to this jack I will be in the same situation as him. I never want to see the underneath of a car again.”
Firefighters arrived at the scene and used inflatable air bags and hydraulic equipment to lift the car off the man. He was then taken to hospital by paramedics and treated for injuries including cracked ribs and a bruised head.
Nick Miller, a paramedic for Great Western Ambulance Service, arrived at the scene five minutes after the 999 call.
He said: “This quick thinking certainly made the situation much more comfortable for the patient and reduced the risk of him suffering serious, long-term injuries.
“The patient was initially trapped under the front axle of the car – the heaviest part of the vehicle – so relieving that pressure on his chest and abdomen was undoubtedly a priority. This allowed us to release and assess him far more quickly and easily.”