Frantic efforts to save cyclist trapped by car
RESCUERS frantically fought to lift a car off a cyclist after he was run over near the Portway.
The man was trapped beneath a Ford Focus after he slipped off his bike in front of the car. As he lay pinned to the ground between the front and back axles, the trio jacked up the chassis to lift some of the car's weight off his body. One of the rescuers then crawled underneath to hold the man's hand and stop him from knocking one of the jacks out of the way as he writhed in agony.
Despite being trapped under the heaviest part of the vehicle the cyclist was conscious and talking when paramedics arrived. Fire fighters eventually used inflatable air bags and hydraulic equipment to lift the car off him and he was taken to hospital with internal injuries.
Emergency crews praised the three men for their quick thinking, saying their actions had undoubtedly saved the man from more serious injuries.
The accident happened just after 8.20am yesterday on the junction of Woodwell Road and the Portway in Shirehampton.
Andrew Ray, a solicitor from Westbury-on-Trym, was driving along the Portway towards Avonmouth when another driver waved him down to help.
Mr Ray, 54, said: "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.
"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 at 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."
Mr Ray took his car's jack and crawled under the front of the Focus.
He said: "I could see that he couldn't move because his head was wedged by the gear box of the car.
"Thank God he was wearing a helmet, but his left shoulder and upper body were pinned by the rest of the underside of the car. 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. But I couldn't get it high enough to lift it off his shoulders.
Mr Ray said the other two men acted "absolutely brilliantly", talking calmly to the cyclist and telling him the emergency services were on their way.
Mr Ray said police told him the cyclist had suffered chest injuries but could be out of hospital as early as today. He said the cyclist had told officers he had slipped off his bike in front of the car, whose driver would not have been able to see him before running him over.
Paramedic Nick Miller 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."
Do you know the cyclist or the other rescuers? Contact the news desk on 934 3335.