Dave Nielsen is grateful to the people who stopped to help him after he came off his push bike.
Dave Nielsen is grateful to the people who stopped to help him after he came off his push bike. Karleila Thomsen

Last-ditch effort to thank helpers

AFTER a dramatic tumble from a pushbike left him lying prone in a ditch, Dundowran Beach resident David Nielsen, 65, wants to thank the strangers that came to his aid after the accident.

Mr Nielsen hadn't ridden a pushbike in more than four years when he decided to take a ride to the local shops.

It was raining and he had almost reached his destination without too much trouble when he "got the wobblies" on his bike.

"No, I wasn't drunk," he said wryly.

Mr Nielsen, who migrated from America to Australia about 35 years ago, landed in a ditch about two feet deep with rocks along the bottom.

"That's the worst thing about getting older," he said.

"You do the things that you did as a young person but it hurts a lot more."

The bike landed on top of him as he crashed into the ditch and he found himself unable to get up.

"It was exactly like getting kicked by a horse."

All he could do was signal to passing traffic to try to get assistance.

What happened next made him even more glad he had made the move from America to Australia all those years ago.

About half a dozen cars stopped and people rushed to his assistance.

Two ladies, whom he knows only as Sharon and Debbie, lifted the bike off him and helped him get up.

Mr Nielsen said he was blown away by how much assistance he received.

"There are places in America where you could bleed to death in the street. People don't want to get involved," he said.

Covered in mud, bleeding and a little unstable, his rescuers wanted to take Mr Nielsen to the hospital, but he said it wasn't necessary.

So Debbie told her husband, Greg, who was also on the scene, to get their 4WD so they could give Mr Nielsen a lift home.

Mr Nielsen was concerned because he still didn't have any food - so the couple took him to the shops.

Mr Nielsen, still in shock from the fall and not realising the extent of his injuries, told the couple he would be able to ride home from the shopping centre.

But they refused to leave him and Greg took him home after he finished shopping.

"I felt like kissing him on both cheeks, but neither of us are that way inclined if you know what I mean," Mr Nielsen said.

Because of his shaken-up state, Mr Nielsen didn't find out the last names or phone numbers of those who came to his aid.

But he is hoping they will now come forward so he can thank them fully.

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