On 3 October 2015, a double-decker bus crashed into Sainsbury’s on Trinity Street in Coventry, England. A seven-year-old boy on the bus died, as did a 76-year-old female pedestrian. Teil Portlock, age 32, saw the bus beginning to crash and yelled at four people — Ebony Carver-Smith, age 13; Leila Conway, age 12; Eloise Boyes, age 12; and Lauren Gavin, age 12 — to move away from the cashpoint at Sainsbury’s. He then joined others in attempting to help those on the bus.
He said, “I stopped at the newsagents by Sainsbury’s to get some Rizla [a brand of papers in which to roll cigarettes] and was sorting out a cigarette next to the reflective windows at Sainsbury’s when the four girls walked past me.
“Then you could just hear the bus banging on the cars.
“It bounced a taxi right out of the way and then it went up on to the grass verge and you could see it coming towards the shop.
“It took the lamppost out right opposite the cashpoint and then I just shouted at everyone to move and then it was the point of impact.
“I ran over to the bus and tried to punch the front window in but couldn’t, so I punched one of the side windows through.
“Loads of people came running down the stairs from the top deck and one gentleman passed an elderly lady through to me through the window.
“We were then trying to bend the door backwards to get it open when we heard there were people upstairs.”
Mr. Portlock was able to open the emergency door at the back of the bus; he then made his way up to the upper deck.
He said, “I could see all the mangled metal and there was a man up there holding a boy’s hand.
“I tried to pull the metal back but I couldn’t.
“I then went back outside to see what else we could do and then the emergency services started to arrive.”
Ebony Carver-Smith said, “If the man hadn’t shouted at us to run, we wouldn’t have moved and we would have been hit.
“It is scary because the bus hit just by the cashpoint, which is where we were standing.
“After shouting at us to run, the man went to the bus to help.
“Lots of people were there trying to help straight away.”
Ebony’s mother, Sam Carver-Smith, said, “I would just like to thank the man who shouted at them to get out of the way of the bus.”
For Further Information: Ben Eccleston, “Double-decker bus crash hero tells how he helped save lives after horror smash killed two.” Mirror (UK). 5 October 2015
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