Miracle cyclist is back home after 30ft plummet into river

Yvonne Horsley, who fell off her bicycle, over the side of Elland Bridge.
Yvonne Horsley, who fell off her bicycle, over the side of Elland Bridge.

SHE was thrown over a bridge and plummeted more than 30ft into a river.

But amazingly, Yvonne Horsley not only survived, she is already home from hospital.

The 34-year-old from Elland said doctors are astounded she was not more badly injured after the freak accident at Elland Bridge on Saturday evening.

“I must have a guardian angel looking out for me,” she said.

Yvonne was cycling with her partner Darron McGee from their home in Elland town centre to a family barbecue when the accident happened. They have only had the bikes for about three weeks, and because she is not a very confident rider, she was on the pavement.

When she hit the brakes to slow down, she skidded on sand and her front wheel hit the bridge, sending her flying off her bike and into the river – head first.

“I realised as I was going down, ‘This is going to really hurt’. I seemed to be in the air forever.”

She crashed into the water, narrowly missing rocks and the bridge footings.

Incredibly, her only injuries were a gash to the head, three broken ribs, a large cut on her elbow and several bruises.

She said she managed to stand up but, realising she was injured, sat down on a plinth. Soon afterwards a passing motorist who had seen what happened rushed down to her, followed by 20-year-olds Darren Brierley and Chris Leigh who had been in The Bridge pub.

Four fire crews and paramedics were called to rescue Yvonne. The firefighters lowered a platform to the river so she could be lifted back over and taken to hospital.

“I wanted to stand up but the paramedics wouldn’t let me,” she said. “At the hospital they couldn’t believe it, everyone was calling me a miracle.”

She and Darron want to thank everyone who helped her – from the emergency services and hospital staff to the motorist, Darren and Chris and everyone else who has supported her since.

“Everyone has been amazing, I want to say a big thank you to everyone. You don’t realise how many friends you’ve got until something like this happens.”