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Passers-by lift up car to rescue injured vicar

23 May 2014

NIGEL COX/GEOGRAPH

Shock: the congregation at St Mary's, Luton, are praying for Mr Jones's speedy recovery

Shock: the congregation at St Mary's, Luton, are praying for Mr Jones's speedy recovery

A PRIEST who was trapped under a car after a bicycle crash has thanked passers-by who came to his rescue by lifting the vehicle off him.

The Vicar of St Mary's, Luton, the Revd Mike Jones, was knocked off his bike and pinned under a car at a roundabout in Luton on Wednesday of last week. He suffered burns from the hot engine, and a number of serious cuts, before being freed.

Mr Jones tweeted from his hospital bed: "'You are the luckiest man in the country today' air ambulance doctor [told] me after car physically lifted off me by passers by in #Luton today. Thanks to the great British public. The doctors ambulance police firemen NHS and the lord."

The air ambulance was dispatched to the scene of the crash, and an ambulance officer, Neil Hudson, told the newspaper Luton on Sunday that, despite Mr Jones's cuts, bruises and burns, he could "count himself very lucky that he was not more seriously hurt".

Mr Jones was then taken to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital near by to receive treatment for his injuries.

A statement from St Mary's was posted on the church's website, describing the congregation's "shock" at the crash.

One of the men who lifted the car off Mr Jones was Zulfiqar Afsar, a taxi driver. Mr Afsar told Luton on Sunday that he had been driving in front of Mr Jones when he heard the collision, and rushed to help.

"We managed to put the car to one side. We put the injured man on the floor, and a lady started talking to him and calming him. It was my duty as a Muslim [to help]."

Another passer-by who stepped in to help was Manny Muhammad, a local boxer. He said that the experience had been very distressing: "It was a horrific incident and he was in bad shape. He had blood on his face and hand,and his eye had closed up. As a boxer, I see this all the timewhen there's a big impact on the eye.

"It was very, very traumatic because you do not wake up in the morning expecting to see these things happening."

Mr Jones has served as a priest in Luton for only ten months. His previous post was in Lilleshall, in the diocese of Lichfield.

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