Belfast Telegraph

'I thought this is it, I'm going to die...' singer Malachi tells of moments after runaway car ploughed into him

malachi cush
malachi cush
Police at the scene as cars are recovered from a serious crash in Dungannon.
Malachi singing
Malachi Cush
Andrew Madden

by Andrew Madden

Singer Malachi Cush has spoken of the moment he thought he was going to die after being hit by a runaway car.

The performer, from Donaghmore in Co Tyrone, also feared he might lose one of his legs following the freak incident.

The 38-year-old was standing outside SA Trotter's family hardware store in Dungannon on June 3 with staff member Andrew Trotter when a car careered down the street, mounted the pavement and crashed into them.

Mr Trotter suffered injuries to his head, shoulder and elbow, while Mr Cush sustained injuries to his lower legs and head.

Speaking on Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence programme the singer, who is married to Claire, recalled the moments before the crash.

Mr Cush said that as it was a Monday, it was his day off and he planned to do some work in the garden. He had problems with his strimmer, prompting the visit to SA Trotter's. After making the purchase, Mr Trotter had followed him outside to demonstrate how the item operated.

Mr Cush recalled the accident happened as the pair were at the back of his car. "We hadn't seen or heard any sign of anything coming our way," he recalled. "It was all very, very quick and sudden, and quite scary when you think back to it.

"Because I'd seen nothing coming, I thought there had been some sort of explosion because I could see all the debris on the ground.

"I could see that Andrew had blood trickling down his face, I could see that I was losing blood.

"I tried to get up and obviously my legs were damaged so I couldn't get up."

2019-07-29_new_52167472_I2.JPG
Police at the scene as cars are recovered from a serious crash in Dungannon.

Mr Cush recalled losing consciousness. Lying on the pavement surrounded by paramedics, he said he thought he was going to die.

"I do remember vividly all the people working round me and my wife and my sister were there, but I couldn't really see them - they were just like silhouettes," he said. "What I could see clearly was the blue sky and the clouds coming closer to me, or me going closer to them, and I did think: 'I'm maybe going to die here'. I said I didn't want to die, it wasn't my time."

He added: "It did occur to me that this was the end, I thought it was - it was in my head that it was. It wasn't scary as such, but I knew I didn't want to go just now."

He was transported to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where he was assessed as having injuries to his leg and head, including lacerations, and had teeth knocked out.

Initially doctors were also worried that he may have had internal injuries. Thankfully this wasn't the case, but his leg would require several surgeries.

The singer said his faith helped him pull through. He believes the power of prayer from others aided in his recovery, describing it as "really special".

He added: "The parish priest was telling me about the calls that he was getting across the board. Andrew's church was the same - he's Presbyterian, I am Catholic, so there was a real combined outpouring of prayer."

He added: "When I was in the hospital I said to my wife that I felt a change and I thought I was going to be okay, whereas I wouldn't have been able to say that lying on the street in Dungannon... I have no doubt in my mind that I somehow received a miracle that day."

Mr Cush, who rose to prominence on the BBC talent show Fame Academy in 2002, spent three weeks in hospital.

He said his day-to-day life has changed dramatically since the accident, as he is unable to travel for work commitments in London and the United States, and cannot currently drive.

However, when compared to what could have happened, he is reminded of "the important things in life". He added: "I think about what could have happened. I could have lost the leg, I could have had spinal injuries.

"You have to be realistic - for some reason I was saved that day and there is still work for me. I will get back. I am now just really grateful and really thankful and I owe (God) one. I'm blessed and lucky to come through it.

"I think the overriding lesson for me is not to take anything for granted.

"In this business you're always consumed about where you're going, what's next and gaps in the diary and so on.

"I've had a gap for the last two months. It's given me a lot of time to be grateful, for my home, where I live, my family. Life goes on - with or without you."

Doctors have told Mr Cush it will be around December before he can return to the stage. However, it will be 12 months before his leg is fully healed and functional.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph