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Injured cyclist thanks ‘heroes' who saved him


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Holladay -- A man who was run over by a car while riding his bicycle in Holladay last week is publicly expressing his gratitude to good Samaritans who helped rescue him.

Paul Heaton says he never really lost consciousness, so he remembers a lot of what happened to him, especially the actions of those that saved him. He says he's extremely grateful for what they did.

Heaton -- a University of Utah student who also serves in the National Guard -- was extremely banged up after the accident. He has a shattered elbow, a fractured arm and numerous other injuries. He still has stitches in both legs, but says he's happy to be able to walk.

It happened last Tuesday night. Heaton says he thought he had enough time to cross 4500 South, but a car sped up, hit him and ran him over. He was pinned beneath the car when at least six people rushed to his aid and lifted the car off him.

"The 911 tape I can hear myself (yelling) and after that, it felt about five to 10 seconds later, they got the car up all the way," Heaton said. "The ER doctor was there an they got me out. I felt three people pulling me out."


I want to thank the people. Like I said, they're definitely my heroes. I definitely want to tell the driver I understand things happen. It's OK. I definitely forgive him.

–Paul Heaton


Heaton says he was freed after the second round of lifting. The first time, those helping him weren't able to get it up all the way and had to set the car back down for a second.

Heaton had a difficult time articulating what the pressure felt like. He says it felt like he was holding up the car and felt like his pelvis might have shattered if he hadn't been freed in time.

He also says he's lucky an ER doctor was one of the good Samaritans. The doctor helped make sure he was pulled from below the car safely.

Heaton says he is simply thankful to be alive and has a message for the people that helped him.

"I want to thank the people. Like I said, they're definitely my heroes," he said. "I definitely want to tell the driver I understand things happen. It's OK. I definitely forgive him."

Even though he is up and around, it is going to be a long road to full recovery for Heaton. The doctors are telling him three to four months.

Email:aadams@ksl.com

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