Passers-by film women trapped in crushed car instead of helping

Officers said the first reaction of witnesses was to capture the scene on their mobile phones

Police have criticised people who stood by and took photographs instead of helping two women who had become trapped in their car after it was crushed by a falling tree in high winds.

Officers said the first reaction of witnesses was to capture the scene on their mobile phones. 

A mother and daughter were driving in Ferryhill Station, Co Durham, when winds uprooted a tree from a garden. It crashed on to the bonnet of their Nissan Note, bringing down a power cable. Their car was badly damaged. 

PC Paul Jackson said: “The driver and her passenger were trapped in the car and calling for help. Apparently a number of people decided to film or take photos on their phones rather than offer assistance, and that is disappointing to hear.”

The two women were taken to hospital in Durham and treated for minor injuries.

The incident has echoes of the behaviour of some bystanders during the knife attack at Leytonstone Tube station in December. While one man grappled with the suspect, others simply filmed the incident. 

David Pethers, who was left bleeding, said afterwards: “There were other adult men standing there, just filming it on their phones. There were so many opportunities where someone could have grabbed him.”

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