Pet dog cushions fall of pensioner in accident

A HUGE dog cushioned the fall of a pensioner knocked down in a road crash - and possibly saved her life.

Six-year-old English Mastiff, Amber, was being taken for her usual morning walk over Harrow Lodge Park when 83-year-old Joyce Macdonald leading her was in collision with a 4x4 pick-up truck as she crossed the zebra crossing at the park entrance in Hornchurch Road, near the junction with Elmhurst Drive.

Joyce, who lives with her son, Ken, and daughter-in-law, Barbara, both 60, opposite the park, would take 15-stone Amber for a mile-and-a-half walk every day.

Ken was sitting in the front dining room of the house when the accident happened on Friday, September 17, at around 8.15am.

He said: “I heard a bang and looked up and the traffic had stopped. Then Amber appeared and sat at the top of the steps.

“When mum got knocked over she dropped the lead.

“Amber was on mum’s left. She knocked into her as she fell. Amber cushioned her fall.”

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A witness told Ken he saw his mum fly a foot into the air after the impact before falling into Amber and landing on the floor.

Barbara said: “At 83 she could have been killed outright.”

Four schoolgirls raised the alarm by calling for an ambulance. Ken also called the police moments after.

Ken said: “They think she was unconscious for less than a minute.

“She had a broken vertebrae in her back. She can’t walk at the moment without help but doctors have said they are going to fit her with a brace.”

She has since returned home.

Barbara said: “She was so lucky Amber broke her fall. That crossing has been an accident waiting to happen. If you know the area you know its there but if you don’t you can’t see it coming.”

Ken said cars were running into each other there “at least once a month”.

The area was closed to traffic for up to two-and-a-half hours while police assessed the scene.

The driver of the truck has been reported for driving without due care and attention.

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