Two men today described the moment an out-of-control van crashed just feet away from them – before they bravely ran to help two Royal Mail staff trapped inside.
The Royal Mail van was flipped on to its side after it was involved in a collision with a white BMW on Blackpool’s Cookson Street on Thursday afternoon, as reported in The Gazette. It came to rest with the staff still inside.
Lee Limon, 25, and his friend Jack Royals, 17, were walking along the street around 2.20pm when they heard the sound of the crash – and looked round to see the van speeding straight towards them.
Mr Limon, of Peter Street, Blackpool, said: “It was like something out of a film.
“The van came skidding past me and my mates, and if we hadn’t leaned against the wall it would have killed us.
“The van was spun around and nearly hit a woman with a pushchair. It was two feet away from us when it came past.
“The back end swung out and it came straight towards us, which is why we had to jump out of the way.
“I was scared and I was still shaking an hour or two later because of how close it was to hitting us.”
Seconds after the van came to a stop, the pair realised the two men were trapped and rushed over to help them.
Mr Limon added: “The first thing we did was run over and check if the woman was all right.
“When we got to the van I climbed on top and forced the door open and pulled the passenger out. He was in his 60s and told me to get his mate out.
“When I went back he was groaning, but he managed to get his seatbelt off, then I pulled him out as well. We moved them both away because the van started hissing.”
Mr Royals, of Claire Street, in Blackpool, added: “I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life. When the van came to a stop I heard a lot of screaming, but myself and Lee ran over straight away.
“As we were running towards the van I could tell they were in shock. They were both pale and weren’t responding at first, so we started shouting at them.”
Both men were unhurt in the collision and did not need hospital treatment.
The driver of the BMW was lifted from his car by fire crews but was also not seriously injured and did not need to go to hospital.
A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: “This was a hazardous incident and, because it had flipped, it could have rolled again, and a fire could have broken out in the wrecked vehicle. For members of the public to do this is worthy of praise and it has paid off, so credit has to go to them.”
“We would normally recommend that people allow the emergency services to respond and deal with this, but that would be small minded of us to say that in this case.”