Belfast Telegraph

M2 crash biker James McMahon saved by heroic passers-by

By Claire Williamson

A man has told of the incredible life-saving actions of strangers who came to the aid of his brother after he came off his motorbike on the M2 on Saturday night.

Jason McMahon from Antrim said the way in which members of the public helped his brother, James, has "reaffirmed his faith in humanity" after the 50-year-old was injured in the motorway crash.

Jason was in Portrush, waiting on his brother James, when he got the call from a couple who had witnessed the incident. James had just passed them in the fast lane when it happened.

"It was a bad bend and he was in the fast lane and he was quite close to the grass verge and his wheel caught the dirt," Jason told the Belfast Telegraph.

"Whether the bike flipped him off or was gone from below him, we're not sure of the exact details, but he landed on the grass on the right hand side of the road and the bike slid around 60 or 70 yards across the road and landed up the road on the left hand side."

The couple stopped straight away to offer assistance, as did a passing Red Cross group. An off-duty paramedic also went to Mr McMahon's aid, and they treated him while calling an ambulance and the police.

The PSNI hailed the actions of another motorist, Ellen MacFarlane (23), from Ballymena, who they say prevented a potential multi-vehicle pile-up as she waved at traffic to slow down.

Among the approaching drivers was an off-duty policeman. He said: "There were cars coming off that corner in the overtaking lane in excess of 80mph and if it weren't for that girl doing her bit, that crash could have ended up being a multi-vehicle pile up.

"Without doubt, lives would have been lost or, at very least, changed forever."

Jason said those helping his brother were at a "precarious spot".

He added: "Ellen was looking after everyone looking after my brother and she did the guardian angel bit and made sure there wasn't any further carnage."

Ellen said she never expected such a response to her just trying to help.

She said: "It's what I thought anybody would have done in that situation."

James suffered no broken limbs but landed on his head and shoulder and as a result had a brain bleed and compressed lung. He stabilised within 48 hours and is making a good recovery.

Jason added: "Sometimes the news makes you a tad disillusioned with the world.

"But in a moment of crisis you notice that people are so good, essentially, there is that instinct in people, in strangers, to look after somebody."

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