Alive! Bike woman hurled 30ft over bridge into river

Rescue: Firefighters bring the woman over the wall. Picture by Sue Grundy
Rescue: Firefighters bring the woman over the wall. Picture by Sue Grundy

THIS is the dramatic rescue of a woman who was catapulted over a bridge and plummeted 30ft into a river - and survived.

She is believed to have been cycling down Huddersfield Road in Elland at around 6.45pm on Saturday when she hit the curb and was thrown over Elland Bridge.

She landed in the water, narrowly missing the bridge footing and rocks.

Darren Brierley and Chris Leigh, both 20, were in The Bridge pub when they heard a commotion and rushed out. When they saw the woman under the bridge, they ran down to help her.

They said she was on her knees in the water when they got to her. They lifted her out to dry land, and stayed with her until ambulances arrived.

Then they helped the paramedics down to the river, helping carry their equipment

“We just went out for a quiet drink,” said Darren, a pipe fitter from Elland.

“We didn’t really think about it, we just ran down there,” said Chris, who is a gas engineer from Greetland.

“She just missed the bridge footings.”

Landlady at The Bridge Sue Grundy took these photos of the rescue. She said: “I was upstairs and saw people looking over the bridge. Then I realised there was someone in the water.

“If she’d fallen just six inches to the right she would have hit a rock.

“The lads who helped her were brilliant.”

Darren and Chris, who both play for the pub’s football team Elland All Stars, said the woman was conscious and talking to them.

She is understood to be a kickboxer and in her 30s.

Four fire crews were called to rescue the woman. The teams used a combined aerial rescue pump to help her, lowering a platform to the river so she could be put on it and brought back over the bridge.

She was taken to hospital with head, rib and elbow injuries.