PRAISE has been given to the locals who rushed to help an elderly man after an accident left his car suspended in the air.
The man, in his 70s, was heading towards Chichester on the A259 in Emsworth, when he crashed into the railings outside the town’s baptist church, off the North Street roundabout.
The man’s car ended up on top of the railings with the two wheels on the left side of his silver Ford Focus on the ground, but the two wheels on the right, in the air.
Mark Ringwood, a 63-year-old music promoter from Emsworth, saw the accident happen yesterday and went over to help.
He said: ‘The car was in the lane to go straight over the roundabout, and I saw it crash into the railings and then go up on top of them, so I swerved over to the bus lay-by to help.
‘The car was suspended in the air and another guy ran over to help, he was an off-duty mechanic, and we opened the man’s car door.
‘The mechanic turned off his engine to stop the one of the car’s wheels spinning, and we both made sure he was okay.
‘It was clear he was in shock, he just sat there staring straight ahead, looking like he didn’t know how he got there – but within minutes about a dozen people had rushed over to help.
‘An off-duty paramedic and fireman were there, and the paramedic checked his pulse and made sure an ambulance was on the way.’
He added: ‘I’m not surprised lots of people rushed over to help, but the speed and efficiency was quite remarkable.
‘It was freezing but people just did their best to help in any way they could.
‘It’s very lucky nobody was on the pavement at that time.’
Hampshire Fire and Rescue said one crew from Hayling Island Fire Station attended, but the man had already been taken out of the car and left in the care of paramedics by the time they arrived.
A spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service said: ‘We were called at 1.36pm yesterday. We sent an ambulance and two rapid response vehicles.
‘The driver, a male in his 70s, was assessed at the scene and taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital with minor injuries.’
Nikki Edwards had just attended Toddler Sense with her son and daughter at Emsworth Baptist Church, when she witnessed the incident.
She said: ‘I heard a bang when I was leaving the church, it was so loud!
‘The poor man was still in the car but lots of lovely people stopped to help and were taking good care of him.’