British Columbia

Bystanders, police, lift car off B.C. cyclist pinned under vehicle

Police in Nanaimo are praising a group of bystanders for what they are calling a life-saving effort helping to lift up a car that drove on top of a woman.

Woman, 72, was taken to hospital but has since been released

Nanaimo RCMP say the bystanders and officers who pulled a car off a cyclist likely saved her life. (CBC)

Police in Nanaimo are praising a group of bystanders for what they say was a life-saving effort to lift up a car and pull out a woman who was trapped beneath it.

In a release, RCMP said the woman, a 72-year-old cyclist, fell off her bike while in the driveway of a shopping plaza near the intersection of Rutherford and Nelson roads at around 1 p.m. PT last Saturday.

Just then, police say, a car with two people drove into the driveway, running over the woman and pinning her underneath.

"It appears the driver did not see her at all," Const. Gary O'Brien said of the incident, saying the car came to a rest on the cyclist's upper body.

O'Brien said seven people who were nearby watched the incident unfold, and as luck would have it, two police officers were also driving by.

A Google Streetview image shows the area near the intersection of Rutherford and Nelson roads in Nanaimo. (Google Streetview)

The bystanders flagged down the officers and all nine jumped into action to begin lifting up the full-size sedan crushing the cyclist.

They lifted the car onto its side and pulled the woman from underneath.

At first, she was unresponsive, police said, but she regained consciousness and was rushed to hospital with apparent life-threatening injuries.

"If it wasn't for the actions of the seven bystanders, augmented with our two guys, to lift the car, she probably would have died," O'Brien said.

The woman was in hospital for a day and then released.

O'Brien said the driver of the car remained at the scene and is cooperating with police.

He said police are looking into the design of the driveway and the condition of the car among other factors in their investigation into the incident.

"It's incredible to see what people can do when they pull together collectively," he said. "Those nine people lifted that car that probably weighed two and a half tons.

"If they weren't there it would've been a tragic outcome."

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