Friday 20 September 2019

'It was very tough' - man's desperate bid to save woman knocked down by lorry

Lorraine Burrows
Lorraine Burrows

Allan Preston

A man has told how locals fought desperately to save the life of a woman after she was struck by a lorry in the city centre.

Tragically, Lorraine Burrows (48) died in hospital after the collision on Wellwood Street, which links Great Victoria Street and Sandy Row, at around 8am yesterday.

The air ambulance arrived at the scene but was not needed as Ms Burrows was rushed to hospital by emergency services on the ground. Despite the rapid response, police made the announcement at 5.30pm that Mrs Burrows had died.

The recruitment consultant, who is believed to be from Belfast, worked for Keenan Healthcare on Adelaide Street.

Her shocked colleagues closed the office yesterday and issued an emotional tribute on the company website.

"It is with the greatest of sadness that we have to inform you that our colleague and good friend Lorraine Burrows passed away suddenly. We are all numb with shock," they said.

"Our thoughts and prayers go to Lorraine's husband Jonny, who was her absolute world, and to all of her family and friends. She will be sorely missed at Keenan."

A resident of the nearby Victoria Place apartments, who asked not to be named, said he and others tried desperately to revive her yesterday morning.

"I didn't see the accident myself, I live close by and was just walking on to Wellwood Street from the apartments on Glenalpin Street.

"I heard a thump but didn't think much about it," he said. "When I got round the corner I saw the lorry had pulled over and the driver was getting out. There was another witness and I saw a shape on the ground.

"At that stage I wasn't quite sure what had happened; it was only when I walked over I saw it was a person there."

He continued: "I just got my phone out immediately to call 999. When I saw the woman, who I now know was Mrs Burrows, as far as I'm aware she wasn't conscious."

The emergency services gave instructions over the phone, and one woman began performing CPR, with another man taking over shortly after.

"It was very tough," the resident added.

"I spoke briefly to the lorry driver. I don't know how it happened but he was in absolute shock.

"The ambulance only took a few minutes to arrive and immediately continued the CPR while one paramedic got the defibrillator. They did absolutely everything they possibly could on the scene.

"It's absolutely tragic she didn't make it, I'm just so sorry for her family."

Last night, colleagues and friends continued to pay their respects to Mrs Burrows on Keenan Healthcare's Facebook page. One said: "Lorraine was always so lovely, bubbly and always looked out for you. She will be missed so much."

PSNI Inspector David Gibson issued an appeal for any witnesses who were on Wellwood Street at 8am yesterday to contact police.

He also urged anyone with a dashcam fitted to their vehicle, which may have recorded the collision, to come forward using the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 198 for November 21.

Belfast Telegraph

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