Keith Chapman hurtled 15 feet through the air after jihadi killer Khalid Masood’s 4×4 crashed into him in the atrocity that claimed the lives of five people five years ago this week
A survivor of the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack has formed a heartwarming friendship with the police officer who saved him.
Keith Chapman hurtled 15 feet through the air after jihadist killer Khalid Masood’s 4×4 crashed into him in the atrocity five years ago that killed five people this week.
But for Met Officer Joe Burrage’s quick actions, his horrific injuries could have been far more serious.
Today, Keith, 66, tells how Joe got him vital medical supplies, helped phone his wife and got him to the hospital – and how they stayed in touch when the PC took him out for a day and called him for chats.
“I guess when you go through things like that, the bond lasts,” says Keith, who is reliving that horrible day today and still hurting from his wounds. “I’m just so grateful to be alive. I will never forget what Joe did for me.”
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Keith, 66, a pest exterminator, walked across the bridge the day Masood began driving his car into pedestrians, killing Aysha Frade, 44, American vacationer Kurt Cochran, 54, retired window washer Leslie Rhodes, 75, and Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea, 31.
Grandfather Keith says, “I heard screams behind me. Then there was this crunch, I turned and saw a man I later knew was Kurt getting hit by that speeding car.
“A second later the car was on top of me and I was like, ‘That’s it for me.’ The car crunched me. I saw this white light, it felt like it could be the end.
“Everything was in slow motion. Then the pain kicked in and so did my survival instinct. I tried to get on my hands and knees and stand up. Then Joe came out of nowhere.
“He was so calm and said, ‘Lie down or I’ll sit on you’. That advice probably saved me from even worse injuries. If ever there was a guardian angel, it was him.
“There was a dead man lying around me. I later found out it was Leslie. I looked the other way and realized the man whose fiancé Andreea had been thrown into the Thames couldn’t find her.
“It was awful. His desperation is really hard to imagine.” Hero Joe, from Stevenage, Herts, tried to keep Keith calm and helped him get in touch with Ms Linda.
He was taken to the emergency room, where he immediately underwent surgery to save his shattered left leg.
He also had a fractured vertebra and right arm, and spent three weeks in hospital with injuries that were described as life-changing. British-born terrorist Masood, 52, crashed into gates near the Houses of Parliament at the end of the bridge. He ran to the Palace of Westminster and fatally stabbed PC Keith Palmer with two knives before being shot by police and dying shortly thereafter.
Keith, who has to walk with a cane, says his wounds are still there. “I wake up in pain every morning,” he says.
“Occasionally I think, ‘Life would have been a lot easier if it wasn’t for that idiot.’
“But most mornings I’m just so grateful to be alive. I’m alive and Masood is dead. I’m living proof that terror didn’t win.” Keith asked police to show him CCTV footage of the attack and saw him being “hurled into the air like a rag doll”. .
He has never felt able to return to London since the attack – not even for the unveiling of a plaque on the bridge on Wednesday.
But through all his ordeal, the thoughtful Joe, from Cobham, Surrey, kept in touch. Keith says, “It’s so uplifting. He didn’t have to. It’s so nice to have someone to go through it with me. I’m a Chelsea fan and Joe even took me to Stamford Bridge for a tour. It was a nice touch.
“To this day we often check each other. I will never forget what he did for me.
“If it weren’t for some amazing people who helped me along the way, I would be in a far worse state.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/terror-attack-survivor-forms-friendship-26509159 The survivor of the terrorist attack befriends the police officer "Living Angel" who rescued him