A WOMAN was fighting for her life last night after a collision with a fire engine as she crossed Cowley Road in Oxford.
The area, between Shelley Road and Howard Street, was closed in both directions following the collision.
An eye-witness, who was driving down the road in her car when the incident happened, told of her shock.
The young woman, who did not wish to be indentified, said: “This woman was standing in the central reservation when a fire engine was coming down the road.
“It had its lights on, but she hesitated for a moment and then stepped out.
“I was so shocked.”
Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Paul Smith said the fire engine, based at Rewley Road, Oxford, was called out at about 3.40pm to an emergency on the Blackbird Leys estate.
The emergency was not a fire, according to Mr Smith, but he did not provide further details.
He said: “There were four firefighters in the fire engine and they gave first aid to the woman before the ambulance arrived.
“None of the firefighters were injured.”
Mr Smith was unable to say how fast the fire engine was travelling at the time of the collision.
Shortly afterwards, ambulance crews arrived and the woman, who neighbours said was a grandmother-of-four, was taken to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.
South Central Ambulance spokeswoman Michelle Archer said she had “potentially life-threatening injuries”.
A worker at Morrisons next to the scene said the police had taken sand and water from the store.
He said: “They couldn’t use the facilities in the fire truck because it was part of the scene.
“After the accident everybody in the area just stopped, it’s the sort of thing that leaves you a bit shaken.
“But straight away the police had a tarpaulin screen out to cover the scene.”
Police said the woman was believed to be in her 50s, but neighbours claimed she was likely to be in her 80s.
Littlemore resident Fiona Tapp was visiting the vet on the corner of Howard Street and Cowley Road when the fire engine came past.
Miss Tapp, who works in customer services, said: “I was sitting in my car when the fire engine came past and it had its sirens blaring.
“When I came out of the vets I saw the road had been closed off and I asked a bus driver what had happened – he told me it had been quite bad.
“The ambulance staff got there very quickly.”
Diversions were put in place and a number of local bus services were disrupted as a result of the accident.
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