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Woman trapped by runaway Mini in Bishop's Stortford car park: 'There was banana everywhere'




A woman told the Stortford Indie of the scary moment she realised a runaway Mini was about to hit her.

Helen East had been dropped off in the Apton Road car park in Bishop's Stortford on Friday morning (Jan 10) by husband Dave to walk to her job at Herts Insurance Consultants in The Causeway when the freak accident happened.

"My husband pulled up next to the ticket machine and I'd just said goodbye to him when I saw this Mini coming backwards," said Helen, 52. "I thought they were reversing and were going to see me."

Thornbera Road, Bishop's Stortford. Helen East was trapped in against her car by a runaway Mini in Apton Road car park. .Helen trapped between the cars. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (26731536)
Thornbera Road, Bishop's Stortford. Helen East was trapped in against her car by a runaway Mini in Apton Road car park. .Helen trapped between the cars. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (26731536)

She did not realise there was no-one inside the car – as the owner had parked it in a sloping bay 10 minutes earlier and left the scene.

Helen watched in horror as the Mini picked up speed, hit the bumper of Dave's Nissan Qashqai and then glanced across her before pinning her to the passenger door.

"The scariest thing was I knew what was going to happen," she said, adding: "My lunch got completely squashed – there was banana everywhere!"

Emergency services at the Apton Road car park on Friday morning (26403869)
Emergency services at the Apton Road car park on Friday morning (26403869)

She said that initially she froze, but after a few minutes she managed to shuffle into Dave's car and get out through the driver's door.

A man who had seen the Mini begin to roll backwards but, like Helen, did not realise there was no-one in it rang police.

Helen, who lives in Thornbera Road in Stortford, told the Indie that police have traced the driver of the Mini, which was secured by firefighters who put blocks under the wheels.

The 86-space car park, which is owned and operated by East Herts Council, was closed during the incident, which happened at about 8.40am.

Thornbera Road, Bishop's Stortford. Helen East was trapped in against her car by a runaway Mini in Apton Road car park. .Helen trapped between the cars. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (26731536)
Thornbera Road, Bishop's Stortford. Helen East was trapped in against her car by a runaway Mini in Apton Road car park. .Helen trapped between the cars. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (26731536)

Luckily Helen, who has a son Henry and daughter Megan, was not seriously hurt, suffering only bruising to the top of her leg and soreness to her shoulder.

She went to A&E at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, where she was kept in overnight and treated for high blood pressure before being released the next afternoon. She has been off work since.

"I'm feeling lucky – a few minutes later and it would have ploughed me over," said Helen.

Thornbera Road, Bishop's Stortford. Helen East was trapped in against her car by a runaway Mini in Apton Road car park. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (26731526)
Thornbera Road, Bishop's Stortford. Helen East was trapped in against her car by a runaway Mini in Apton Road car park. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (26731526)


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