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Woman Pinned By Car After Her Cries For Help Were Mistaken For Scam

CBC / Julia Wright

You'd think that yelling for help in a public place would result in someone coming to your aid. However, one woman in a small town found out this was not always the case.

Sarah Lawson was visiting her hometown and heading into a Subway restaurant to meet a friend, when she fell and hit her head.

Lawson suffers from muscular dystrophy, which can lead to frequent falls, difficulty walking, and trouble standing from a seated or lying position.

"[I] knew once I hit the ground that I wasn't going to be able to get up on my own," Lawson said. "I wasn't even strong enough to catch myself. My arms aren't strong enough. I went straight, head first, into the pavement."

She lay on the ground, trapped because of her condition but was relieved when another woman walked by. Lawson said she "noticed her avert her eyes," but she still tried to ask for help.

"I called out to her ... I said, 'would you help me?'"

Instead of walking towards her, the woman said no and walked away. She didn't ask any questions or say she would go get help, she just left her there.

It was then that the car she had fallen beside started to move. She was too far away from anything that she could use to help pull herself up, but the car was moving slowly towards her so she panicked.

"It was surreal. I was thinking, 'Is this really happening?' I would have been crushed."

She didn't know what to do, but she knew that all of her options were bad. "[I could] let this woman run over my legs, or risk pulling myself into the other lane and getting my upper body get run over."

Luckily, a few people finally saw what was going on in the parking lot and ran out, getting the driver to stop moving.

"She didn't hear or understand at first, so she kept backing over me," Lawson explained. "I told them, 'I'm pinned under the car, I can't move.' If she had kept going it would have gone right over my chest area."

When the ambulance and police arrived, Lawson said she believed the woman kept walking "because she thought it was a scam."

"She thought … maybe I was faking the fall so that when she helped me up, I might take her purse, or take something from her. I'm not sure."

Even though the woman could have prevented a lot of pain, Lawson isn't holding it against her. "I don't know what's happened to her, or to others that they get so jaded, or so afraid, to interact with people they don't know … maybe she had health problems like I did," she said. "I'm not that angry. I'm just kind of sad for the commentary this has on society as a whole."

"I have grace for this individual. I just want to know what happened that you thought that a woman on the ground, asking for help, bleeding, was a danger to you?"

She's always been a little bit weary when heading out in public because of her mobility issues, but Lawson had always thought that people would be willing to help her if she really needed it. "It was a bit of a shock that she said no. I may be less shocked down the road if someone won't help me up."

She hopes in the future her story can help others who have fallen get the help they need. If you're asked for help, Lawson hopes you consider it.  "Ask a few questions. Give it a little more time. Don't just walk off and keep to yourself. Give a person the benefit of the doubt."

Source - CBC

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com