97-year-old Cumbrian vows to give up driving after 9ft wall plunge
Last updated at 11:59, Friday, 18 May 2012
A 97-year-old driver today told of ‘the worst time of his life’ after passing out at the wheel and plunging 9ft over a wall.
Neighbours rallied round to hold the man’s car, which was teetering on its side, as smoke poured from the engine after it careered off the road, over the top of a wall and into a garden on Ellenfoot Drive in Maryport on Monday.
Mieczyslaw Bar, of King Street, in Aspatria, remembers hitting the wall then turning upside down after the accident on Monday.
“I must have passed out,” he said.
“I was not used to the automatic car. I think [the gear stick] must have slipped from being in parking position.”
Mr Bar said he woke up when the car landed on its side.
“There were people there straightaway,” he said.
“I remember them looking through the window. I’m very grateful to everyone who helped.
“If the car had tipped over, a fire could have started.”
He said he was in the car for around 20 minutes.
“It was the worst time of my life,” he said.
“I’m a very, very lucky man.”
A group of neighbours stopped the car from tipping over onto its roof, worried that it may explode, and one climbed into the car to turn the engine off.
Eye witness Kerry Moore, 31, was in her kitchen when the accident happened on Ellenfoot Drive, in Maryport.
She dialled 999 while her partner Lee Barlow, 34, and neighbour Lee Jackson rushed to help.
“They held the car up until other neighbours joined them,” she said.
“Another neighbour was talking to the man to make sure he was okay.
“In the end, seven or eight people were holding the car and helping how they could.”
Mr Bar, who turns 98 next month, was cut from the car and taken to the West Cumberland hospital in Whitehaven.
“I had a chest x-they ray and then I went home,” he said. “I’m very lucky not to be injured.”
He said he would “absolutely not” be driving again.
“I’ve given that up. My doctor said I should and I would have done so after that even without him.”
He asked for his thanks to be passed on to everyone who helped.
Police praised the neighbours for their prompt action. PC Phillip Lewis, who went to the scene, said: “Their action prevented the car from rolling over further and trapping the man inside, which could have led to more serious injuries.
“Our thanks go out to everyone who helped.”
First published at 11:26, Friday, 18 May 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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