Woman suffers two broken ribs but emergency services say it could have been much worse

A female cyclist in Yorkshire had a very lucky escape when she was thrown off her bike while crossing a bridge and plummeted 25 feet into a river below, suffering two broken ribs. Emergency services say that the outcome could have been much worse for the the unnamed woman, aged around 30, after she hit a kerb coming off a sharp bend and was thrown over the parapet of Elland Bridge in Calderdale.

The incident took place at 6.40pm on Saturday evening on the bridge which runs over the River Calder and the Calder and Hebble Navigation Canal, reports the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

Watch Commander Andy Medlock of Elland Fire Station told the newspaper: “She was exceptionally lucky to hit any water at all as a couple of feet to the right or left and it would have been very different.

“There was a shingle bank on one side of her and the bridge foundations on the other. A passer-by managed to get to her quickly and got her on to the shingle bank.”

Paramedics attended the scene, as did a specialised rescue team based at Halifax Fire Station who brought a specialist appliance called a Combined Aerial Rescue Platform (CARP), which can be deployed to rescue accident victims below ground level.

Ian Tyson of Halifax Fire Station, explained: “The cyclist was conscious throughout the rescue and at one point was even laughing. The CARP has a stretcher that attaches to it and paramedics secured her to the stretcher and our operator then lifted her back up and over the bridge.”

They obviously build them tough in Yorkshire. Last month, Rotherham’s Team Sky star Russ Downing got back on his bike and completed a stage of the Giro d’Italia after plummeting 60 feet into a ravine.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.