Video and photo gallery: “I just assumed people would be dead” - Person injured as car ploughs into busy Norwich pub

Flashback - emergency services at The Golden Star pub in Norwich after a car crashed through the windows last Friday.
 Photo by Simon Finlay. Flashback - emergency services at The Golden Star pub in Norwich after a car crashed through the windows last Friday. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Sunday, June 22, 2014
10:16 AM

A man who was enjoying a drink at a Norwich pub when a car smashed into the front of it has described the moment he helped pull the driver out of the vehicle following the crash.

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Emergency services at The Golden Star pub in Norwich after a car crashed through the windows.
Photo by Simon Finlay.Emergency services at The Golden Star pub in Norwich after a car crashed through the windows. Photo by Simon Finlay.

People were enjoying a quiet afternoon drink in the summer sun at the Golden Star pub on Duke Street when a car careered into the building, sending glass and people flying.

Emergency services, including police fire and ambulance, were called to the crash which happened about 4.30pm on Friday.

Nabil Elfathij, from Oak Street, Norwich, helped pull the driver from the car after the crash which happened while he was having a chat with another customer.

The 36-year-old said: “I was having a conversation with a chap at the bar and heard a massive crash.

“The next thing I had a wall and a car heading towards me – had I have been sat a couple of feet away I wouldn’t be here at the moment.”

Despite receiving a bang to the leg during the crash Mr Elfathij did what he could to help remove the people from the car.

He said: “I came out went to the driver’s side and managed to pull open the driver side door and pull the driver out of the car.

“There was smoke coming from the car from the air bag. The two children in the car were very upset.”

David Turnbull, 68, who owns the Blue Boar pub in Sprowston, The Lawyer and the Lord Rosebery in Norwich, was sat outside with his wife Rita when he saw the car smash into the side of the pub after having hit some railings.

He said: “I just assumed people would be dead. Young girls in the back of the car would be screaming and I really thought the car was going to catch fire but it was powder from the air bag. But thank God, it’s one of those things someone was looking down on us all on this wonderful afternoon in Norwich and no-one got hurt.”

Mrs Turnbull, 41, said: “We thought the car had exploded.”

Elizabeth Legrice, landlady of the pub, which had only just undergone a new paint job a couple of weeks ago, was serving at the time.

She said: “I was pulling a couple of pints and the next thing I know the car has hit the building by the window.”

She said the force of the impact sent one of her friends, who was sat having a drink, flying over the bar followed by “the bar, a lot of glass and the car.”

She added: “We’re just so fortunate that no-one was hurt, that’s the main thing.”

Fire crews from Sprowston and Carrow were called to the crash while a spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) said two ambulances and an ambulance officer were sent to the incident.

Two people were treated at the scene and given advice and a man was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Anyone with information about the crash should call Pc Bob Connor or Pc Dave Carter on 101.

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