Lucky escape for Yorkshire cyclist thrown 25 feet over bridge

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

by Simon_MacMichael   June 14, 2011  

View From Elland Bridge Hunphrey Bolton Wikimedia Commons.jpg

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.