A REVELLER has spoken of her horror after falling out of a moving minibus leaving her with severe bumps and bruises.
Shocked Joanne Ingram was thrown from the Twenty3 Taxis minibus into the middle of the road during a night out in Hartlepool at the weekend.
The 29-year-old had got in with a couple of friends outside Lloyds’s Bar, at the top of Church Street, and was intending to go back towards Victoria Road.
But as Joanne shuffled across the seats towards the other side, she leaned on the door and found herself falling out of the moving cab.
Joanne said she was lucky no other cars were driving in the opposite direction when she was flung onto the road near Christ Church, as the vehicle approached the traffic lights.
The mum-of-one didn’t need hospital treatment at the time, but went to the One Life Centre the following day after waking up with severe bruising on her right thigh, grazes and burn marks on her right wrist and burns to her foot.
Taxi bosses have since apologised and say an investigation is underway.
Joanne, who also suffered cuts and a damaged left shoulder, said: “It was a real shock and it is really scary to think what might have happened if another car had been either behind the minibus or coming from the other direction – it could have been a lot worse.
“I had got into the minibus on the left-hand side and was sliding along to the right-hand side, but as the driver went round the corner I leaned on the door and it flew open.
“The next thing I know I have fallen out and was in the middle of the road.
“Thankfully, I can’t remember too much, but I must have hit the ground and then rolled because I have some really bad bruises and cuts,” added Joanne who works in a mobile phone shop in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.
Joanne was left shocked and dazed, but turned down an ambulance at the scene and ended up finishing her night out.
It wasn’t until the next day that she fully realised the extent of her injuries, adding: “It felt like I had been hit by a bus.”
That led Joanne to go straight to One Life for treatment to the cuts but later she started getting headaches and nausea and after seeking medical advice was then told to go to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, to be checked over.
Joanne, who lives on the Bishop Cuthbert estate, was prescribed painkillers and told to rest.
Bosses at Twenty3 Taxis have carried out checks on the vehicle which showed the warning lights and buzzer, which alert the driver if a door is open while the vehicle is moving, is working.
Dave Hudson, owner of Twenty3 Taxis, told the Mail: “I have spoken to Joanne and sincerely apologised.
“We take anything like this extremely seriously and we will of course be getting to the bottom of it.
“I have not spoken to the driver directly yet to get his version of events as he has been on night shifts.
“We have though carried out tests on the vehicle, which show it is 100 per cent safe as far as we are concerned.”
The incident, which happened at around 11.15pm on Friday night, was reported to Cleveland Police and a spokeswoman confirmed that advice was given to the injured party.