Londoners drag doubledecker bus off injured unicyclist
Dozens of people have dragged a London doubledecker bus from on top of a fallen unicyclist, who is now in a serious condition in hospital after the collision in north-east London.
More than 50 people, including diners from a nearby Pizza Express, plus staff at a launderette and an estate agents, worked to free the man’s leg.
Cafe owner Sami Ullah, who witnessed the accident involving the 212 bus in Walthamstow, told the London Evening Standard: “There were so many people gathered there. There must have been about 50 to 100.
“They somehow managed to pull the bus away a bit. We were amazed – it was a heavy bus, a doubledecker. The police were here straight away and they took over.”
Kyra Sam told the newspaper: “I’m really amazed at the strength of Walthamstow – no one hesitated to push the bus off. I was in shock. Everyone really came together to help. It was really nice to see that in the face of something so awful.”
Locals said the young man, believed to be in his 20s, is a regular in the area on his unusual mode of transport. Robin Jerrom, 34, an employee of the nearby Churchill Estates, described the victim as “distinctive”, often seen wearing a scarf across his face.
“It was about 5.50pm when I heard a loud bang, and looked out of the window to see someone trapped under the front wheel of a bus,” Jerrom said.
“I ran out to help, and could see the bus driver was a little bit shocked and didn’t know what to do. We tried to get him to move it forward, but he couldn’t so we got him to stop. Then more and more people came along to help move the bus, about 40-50 people. Eventually he [the cyclist] managed to crawl out and was in quite a state.
“It’s not a sight I’m going to forget. It was a very bad injury, a quite horrific image for everyone to see. You don’t know if familiarity caused him [the cyclist] to not see the situation right.
“You could see his leg and he was making a lot of noise. It’s always a worry when you see such a big vehicle and someone underneath it.
“It was definitely a sensation that everyone came together. It was a great relief, especially that the cyclist got out and was OK. I don’t think it matters where you are, when there is someone who needs help you have got to do what you have got to do.”
“I heard an enormous bang and then a man screaming,” Theresa Harper told the local Waltham Forest Guardian. “He was badly hurt, as the police were moving him he screamed more. It was horrible, he is only young. I have seen him using the unicycle up this street before – it does seem really dangerous.”
Another witness, Qasim Khan described the community effort as “fantastic”.
“Everybody got together and they tried to push the bus,” he said. “One guy was directing, telling the driver of the bus what to do. He asked the driver to open the door and let the passengers out. Everybody then got off the bus because before they were pushing the bus and it was not moving.
“I am very impressed – particularly when you have more than 30 or 40 people pushing a bus for one person.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called at 5.50pm to a bus in collision with a unicyclist in Hoe Street, Walthamstow. The male unicyclist was taken by ambulance to an east London hospital where his condition is believed to be serious.
“The bus – a route 212 – stopped at the scene. There has been no arrest. Roads closures are in place.”