The mother of a man badly injured after an out-of-control car mounted the pavement in Golders Green has said his “only thought” is for the wellbeing of the driver.
David Richards, 45, a cashier at Menachems’ Kosher Butcher and Deli, was on his way to work on Wednesday morning, amid a street full of Passover shoppers, when the car ploughed into him at speed, leaving him with significant trauma injuries.
“He went through the car’s window,” said Richards’ boss Tamir. “He’s got two broken legs and a broken arm, and he needs an operation to take all the glass out of his face. It’s really bad. It’ll take weeks to recover.”
The silver car also collided with a rabbi, walking in the opposite direction. He was later identified by witnesses as Rabbi Elkouby, 80, who is now believed to need hip surgery. The Community Security Trust (CST) said it appeared to be an accident.
The mother of David Richards, identified as Rachel, had flown out to Israel for Passover only hours before the accident, and was told the news on the phone.
Speaking to Jewish News as she prepared to fly back to the UK on Thursday, she said: “David’s only concern was for the driver.”
She added: “He was very anxious to know that the driver will be OK. Thank God he’s in hospital and he’s going to be in the operating theatre today. He’s a very kind person and was super-anxious to reassure the driver. It’s amazing that this was his only thought at a time like that.”
Both Richards – whose uncle was by his side – and Rabbi Elkouby are understood to be recovering in the same trauma ward at St Mary’s Hospital after the air ambulance, three ambulance crews, an incident response officer and a hazardous area response team were sent to the scene by the London Ambulance Service.
The male driver stopped at the scene and assisted police. He was not arrested. CCTV footage is now being reviewed by officers and the Serious Collision Investigation Unit is appealing for anyone else with footage.
Local resident Sharon Klaff, 69, who was driving to work as a yoga teacher in the aftermath of the crash, was told that a man had been trapped under a car.
“It’s a terrible thing to see,” she said. “It is quite traumatic to watch. The police and the emergency services have been doing a fantastic job in caring for people. It is troubling to see. I hope it was just an accident.”
She added: “When I came to the shop there were people holding the shopfront up so that the debris – like the sign – did not fall and hit anyone. People were trying to help and trying to make sure that no one got injured.”