Leighton Buzzard woman, 87, ‘sent flying’ and breaks her hand as bus pulls away before she’s seated

An 87-year-old great grandmother was hospitalised for two days after being “sent flying” when a bus driver pulled away before she had a chance to sit down.

Mary Cook, who lives in Billington Road, had boarded the F70 service from Linwood Grove on Tuesday morning, using the walker she has used since her recent hip operation.

Mary Cook

Mary Cook

But having parked her walker, and before she had sat down, the vehicle then pulled away from the stop sending Mrs Cook flying to the floor and causing her to break her hand.

She said: “Luckily I landed on my left side and only broke my hand.

“I’ve just had a hip replacement and if I had landed on my other side then it would have been a disaster – I don’t know how long it would have taken me to recover.

“I couldn’t move myself when I landed, but a couple of gentlemen passengers picked me up.”

Mary's injured hand

Mary's injured hand

Mrs Cook, who had only been planning the short trip to the town centre for an optician’s appointment, travelled a few more stops so that she would not be left alone as rain began to fall outside.

A fellow passenger left the bus with her and called 999 for an ambulance.

But Mrs Cook was told that a crew might not arrive for another three hours.

And despite being looked after by “very helpful” staff at Boots Opticians, she actually had to wait six hours for an ambulance to arrive, and was not given a bed at Luton & Dunstable Hospital until 9pm.

Mrs Cook said: “I’ve been using that bus service for 16 years, it’s often running late and there are a few callous drivers who won’t drive close enough to the kerb to let me on with my walker.

“But this was much worse. If he had only waited for another minute or two none of this would have happened.

“I don’t believe in a blame culture, but I do hope he’ll think twice when he drives to stop this happening again.”

A spokesman for bus company Arriva was not yet responded to our request for a comment.