A hero councillor helped a young woman out of her car after she became trapped in her vehicle when it overturned in a crash in Co Down.
Ulster Unionist Alan Lewis was on a lunchtime run on Tuesday when he witnessed the collision on the Dundrum Road in Clough.
He told the Belfast Telegraph he was ‘lucky’ as he had stopped to change the song he was listening to, shortly before the restricted driver drove round the corner and mounted the kerb, where he would have otherwise been.
“The car hit the kerb, spun onto the pathway, hit the fence and back onto the road,” Mr Lewis told the Belfast Telegraph.
“I ran toward the car and tried the doors,” he said.
"The young woman [believed to be aged around 17] was trapped, smoke was bellowing from the engine with a distinct smell of fuel and the driver was screaming for help,
“I used part of the broken fence to break the back window and get her out, thankfully she was okay, albeit a bit shaken.”
The Newry, Mournes and Down District councillor added that “someone was definitely looking over all concerned, as this incident could have been a lot worse”.
“I’m glad that the young woman was able to walk away, I’m also lucky that I didn’t like the song I was listening to and stopped to change it. I will certainly be saying my prayers tonight. Damaged cars and broken fences can be mended — no harm done. I just thank the Lord she walked away unharmed.”
Police and emergency services also attended the scene following Mr Lewis’ heroics.
Mr Lewis said he has previously raised concerns, along with local residents, about the high kerbs in the area which have been installed along the new cycle route.
He continued: “I don’t believe they are fit for purpose. I can testify to the fact that the vehicle wasn’t traveling at any great speed.
“She must have connected with the kerb and lost control. No sooner had the car collided, a local resident arrived on the scene remarking, ‘You were right about the kerbs then’.
“There needs to be an urgent review of safety at this location. This incident could have been a lot worse, had there been a family with small children, or somebody unable to jump out of the way, the results are unthinkable.”
Mr Lewis said he will be contacting the Department for Infrastructure regarding the issue.
In a statement to the Belfast Telegraph, a spokesperson said: “The Department is sorry to hear of the collision today in Clough and sends our best wishes to the young woman involved.
“The Department will liaise with the PSNI to seek to establish causation factors for this collision and any associated actions.
“Any actions identified as falling to the Department will be given careful consideration.”