A little girl was grabbed from the path of a car which struck a young man leaving him fighting for his life.
The 21-year-old man, believed to be the girl’s uncle, is critical, but stable, after being struck by a car in the town’s Wynyard Road.
Chelsea Robinson, 23, who was on the scene, told how she shouted to the youngster, believed to be around five-years-old, not to go out into the road, before grabbing her and covering her eyes so she didn’t witness the accident.
She said: “I saw the lad and the little girl crossing to the side of the road I was on and they made it across but he realised they had dropped a coat and just started walking back to get it.
“I could see the car coming and shouted to the little girl not to follow. Luckily she turned towards me and I ran to her.
“I could see what was going to happen so I hid her under my cardigan. There was a huge bang and he was thrown up into the air like a ragdoll.”
It seemed to happen in slow motion. My priority was for the little girl and she was so brave throughout.Chelsea Robinson
Care worker Chelsea lives behind the Fens shop and was on her way to do a night shift when the drama unfolded.
She said: “It seemed to happen in slow motion. My priority was for the little girl and she was so brave throughout.”
Chelsea went to a nearby shop and asked them to look after the child, then she ran to help the young man while calling emergency services, along with another man who was on the scene.
She said: “I checked my phone later and from me placing the emergency call to the paramedics arriving was just six minutes, but it felt like a lifetime.
“It was such a shock. I continued with my night shift, but the girls had to keep asking if I was alright.”
The man, who was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital by a helicopter from the Great North Air Ambulance is currently in a critical, but stable condition.
The accident happened outside the library at around 7.20pm on Thursday night and police investigating the incident, which involved a black Mercedes C200, are appealing for information.
A spokesman for the Great North Air Ambulance said: “We were called to the Owton Manor area of Hartlepool and arrived at the scene at 7.45pm.
“The man sustained serious head and leg injuries and was anaesthetised by the GNAAS doctor-led trauma team.
“He was transported to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough in a five minute flight. His condition was critical upon arrival.”
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police, said: “Officers will be investigation the circumstances surrounding the collision as a matter of course.”
Anyone who may have witnessed the collision should contact PC Andrew Lawson from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit on the non-emergency number 101, quoting event number 131286.