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The heroes – Meet the men who saved a Hartlepool cyclist’s life

Heroes: Three of the five people who came to the aid of a cyclist when he was knocked off his bike by a car on Northgate on the Headland. Pictured, from left, are: John Miller Owen Atter and his father Darran (CORR) Atter.

Heroes: Three of the five people who came to the aid of a cyclist when he was knocked off his bike by a car on Northgate on the Headland. Pictured, from left, are: John Miller Owen Atter and his father Darran (CORR) Atter.

THESE are the heroes whose quick-thinking actions helped to save the life of a cyclist who lay trapped underneath a car after a collision.

Paul Williamson, 46, remains in hospital after being involved in an incident where he became trapped under the wheels of a car on Northgate, on Hartlepool’s Headland.

Paul’s brother Mark, 36, appeared in the Mail yesterday appealing for the five men who rushed to Paul’s aid to come forward.

The Mail tracked down three of the unassuming heroes, Darran and Owen Atter and John Miller, who have described how they worked together to save Paul – jacking up the car, talking to him to stop him losing consciousness and even cutting off his rucksack, which was obstructing his breathing.

Darran, who was driving to work at Hertel, was one of the first on the scene, pulling over having spotted Paul’s bike on the floor near the car, a white Toyota.

He arrived to find a man, believed to have been a Pyeroy contractor for Heerema, trying to jack up the car to help Paul.

Darran, a 45-year-old certification engineer, went round the front of the vehicle and saw a stricken Paul.

He ran back to his own car and rang his wife Lezanne from his in-car phone to tell her to call an ambulance and to ask his son Owen to bring a car jack along straight away.

Owen, 21, was there within five minutes and he and the Pyeroy worker jacked up the car,

Meanwhile Darran, of Town Wall, the Headland, got underneath and tried to keep Paul awake by talking to him.

He was also lifting the wheel of the car to try to keep the pressure off Paul.

John, 36, from the town, was on his way to work at Lorne Stewart engineers when Darran flagged him down.

John said: “To be honest I didn’t think Paul would make it when I pulled in, he looked like he was on the verge of death.”

Owen, a fitter with Bellwood Rewinds, joined Darran under the car but noticed Paul’s rucksack, which was caught under a tyre, was choking him.

So he got a passing woman to run into the nearby Co-op to fetch a knife so Owen could cut the rucksack away.

John said: “As soon as they did that you could see the colour come back to the man’s face.”

An unidentified council worker, who had also stopped, also got a tyre to try to stop the car from rolling.

Darran, who is also dad to Liam, 23, and 19-year-old Callum, said: “We were just trying to keep talking to him and keep him awake until the emergency services came.

“I’m just glad the guy’s alive.”

But Darran dismissed any idea of him being a hero, saying: “I would do just like every other average person would do, I had to do it, it was just one of those things.”

He described the Pyeroy worker, who was first on the scene, as a “star”.

Dad-of-two John said: “It’s just something you would always do.”

Paul has been placed in a coma at James Cook University Hospital to cope with the pain levels, having suffered a broken pelvis and sternum, two cracked ribs, a tear in his liver and a collapsed lung after the incident, which happened around 6.50am on Wednesday.

His brother Mark, an articulated truck driver from the Hart Lane area of town, said he is doing well and doctors have managed to drain fluids from his lung.

Grateful Mark said the family are going to contact the men personally.

He added: “I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart.

“Words couldn’t explain what it’s done for me and my family.

“Paul’s girlfriend Dawn is absolutely over the moon, my mother Jessica is over the moon.

“I still have a brother and my kids still have an uncle Paul.

“We have still got him in our lives.”

A police investigation into the incident is ongoing.

 

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