Cyclist pinned under 4WD in crash feels ‘the luckiest man alive’.

Crushed beneath the front of a four-wheel-drive, Peter Redmond thought he would never see his fiancee again or meet their unborn child.

And if it were not for quick-thinking strangers who jacked the vehicle up enough for him to breathe, the 35-year-old Aucklander doubts he would have.

Mr Redmond was on his morning cycle commute to work two weeks ago when he and a Porsche collided as the car left a driveway in Sarsfield St, Herne Bay.

He was dragged along the road for about 20m, and bystanders and emergency workers worked for nearly 15 minutes to free him from under the vehicle before he was taken to Auckland City Hospital in a critical condition.

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Peter Redmond says he was conscious throughout the rescue effort. 'It was pretty terrifying.' Photo / Daniel Hines
Peter Redmond says he was conscious throughout the rescue effort. 'It was pretty terrifying.' Photo / Daniel Hines

The IT specialist returned home with his fiancee, Anna, on Friday.

"I can remember everything," he said. "I was really conscious the whole time and it was pretty terrifying. I thought it was going to be the end at one point.

"I couldn't see anything except a little bit of the kerb and then all these hands appeared and I could hear voices - lots and lots of voices."

The first people on the scene used car jacks to try to lift the vehicle.

"My lungs were being crushed by the car. I was just asking them to lift the car up and they were really trying. They got it up about an inch or two, which allowed me to breathe and I don't want to think what would have happened if they couldn't get the car up that little bit."

Mr Redmond, a Briton who moved to Auckland in 2011, said he credits a special "spine-saving" backpack for saving him. It is fitted with a rigid piece of plastic and tight straps to keep the pack in place.

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30 May, 2015 9:00am
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"I feel like I am the luckiest man alive. My fiancee is having a baby and in three months I am going to be a dad and for the first time I thought I wasn't going to meet my baby boy, but now I am."

Despite undergoing operations for injuries that included serious damage to his kidneys and kneecaps, a broken clavicle, multiple broken ribs and deep cuts to a hip, Mr Redmond still considers himself lucky.

"I have got an amazing fiancee whom I love to bits, and I was thinking as I lay there under the car that yeah, my life has been good, but now I feel as though I have been given another one. I am lucky I can walk and have no brain damage and no spine damage."

Mr Redmond wants to use his accident to send a strong safety message to road users.

"It isn't just about the safety of cyclists, it's about humans and mankind and looking after your fellow road user. I really want to campaign in any way I can to make people more aware and hope my accident can stop even one other person being injured or worse.

"I am a big believer in bikes and the long list of health benefits cycling brings.

"I am very safety conscious - I always bike to work and I have ridden in major cities. It's a great start to the day for me before work, and it switches me out of work mode and into home mode at the end of the day."

A police spokeswoman said the driver of the Porsche was a 54-year-old Auckland man and the accident was being investigated.

Mr Redmond is expected to spend up to six weeks recovering at home. He said he wanted to thank all the emergency service workers, hospital staff and fellow patients.

The toll

• Serious kidney damage
• Kneecap injuries
• Broken collarbone
• Broken ribs
• Deep cuts to his hip.