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Eight people lift car to save trapped cyclist in Woodford Green

PUBLISHED: 11:47 30 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:47 30 July 2020

A woman tends to a cyclist who was trapped underneath a car in Charlie Browns roundabout. Picture: Theresa O'Sullivan

A woman tends to a cyclist who was trapped underneath a car in Charlie Browns roundabout. Picture: Theresa O'Sullivan

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A cyclist who was trapped under a car in an accident in Woodford Green was saved by the quick action of the first people on the scene who lifted the vehicle off him.

Theresa O'Sullivan was driving when she spotted this bicycle laying in the middle of the road and at first she thought it had been abandoned. Picture: Theresa O'SullivanTheresa O'Sullivan was driving when she spotted this bicycle laying in the middle of the road and at first she thought it had been abandoned. Picture: Theresa O'Sullivan

The cyclist was airlifted to Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, where he is being treated. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Theresa O’Sullivan was the first person there after the accident and she told the Recorder the “truly horrifying” scene she witnessed that left her shaken.

Just before 8am on Sunday (July 26), Theresa was driving to the dump when she spotted a crushed bicycle lying in the middle of Charlie Browns roundabout.

There was another car stopped 10 metres away and she heard the driver screaming in horror. Then she realised the cyclist was trapped underneath the vehicle.

A man was trapped underneath the car and a group of people lifted the vehicle off him. Picture: Theresa O'SullivanA man was trapped underneath the car and a group of people lifted the vehicle off him. Picture: Theresa O'Sullivan

Theresa said: “The cyclist was calling out but there was no part of his body that was visible, not even a hand or a foot, he was completely underneath the car.”

Theresa jumped out and stopped traffic and asked for anyone to help.

Dashmir Vakaj, a builder whose nickname is Rambo, stopped a few other people and a group of about eight people lifted the car.

Rambo said: “The first thing that came to my mind was we had to lift the car.

The man was air lifted to Royal London Hospital where he sustained multiple injuries, but they are not believed to be life-threatening. Picture: Theresa O'SullivanThe man was air lifted to Royal London Hospital where he sustained multiple injuries, but they are not believed to be life-threatening. Picture: Theresa O'Sullivan

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“It was difficult but sometimes in moments like that I think God gives you the power because that guy’s life is most important.”

Theresa said: “It was incredible as every single person stopped with care and compassion and found the strength to lift the car.

“The cyclist was terribly injured but alive.”

She asked him if there was anyone she should call but he was in shock and said he couldn’t think of any phone numbers at that moment and another woman named Renata comforted him while they waited for medics to arrive.

A bus driver called 999 and emergency services arrived within a minute.

Following the accident Theresa has been in contact with the cyclist’s family who said he had a collapsed lung, broken ribs, broken arm, shattered wrist and smashed front teeth.

She said she was so impressed with all the people who helped, most of whom left as soon as the paramedics took over.

“This was split second decision making and everyone was so great but particularly Rambo, who really lived up to his name!”

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We dispatched an ambulance crew, an advanced paramedic practitioner and an incident response officer with the first of our responders arriving within a minute. We also dispatched London’s Air Ambulance.”

“We treated a man at the scene for injuries to the face, elbow and leg and took him to a major trauma centre.”


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