By Janet Tappin Coelho
A pedestrian literally had a split-second brush with death when a car accident in Brazil sent a motorcyclist hurtling towards her, but in the last instant the bike and cyclist miraculously separated skimming right past her.
In the unbelievable incident, the biker suffered minor injuries and was released on the same day and Shirle Prestes, 34, walked away totally unscathed.
CCTV in Tatui, Sao Paulo recorded the moment Mrs Prestes stood outside a supermarket completely unaware of the unfolding scenes behind her and narrowly escaped by a whisker with her life on 22 June.
Images show her standing near the corner of a road smoking a cigarette when a car makes a left turn but apparently fails to see a biker riding on the inside.
The collision sends the motorbike and cyclist catapulting towards the oblivious woman but just before they slam into her the rider is flung off the bike and flies past on one side and the motorbike skims past her, wheeling over vertically, on the other.
The housewife was thrown to the ground by the vortex created as man and bike shot by her at high speed which also sent shop paraphernalia flying.
Completely bewildered she clambers to her feet and stumbles in a daze into the shop for safety.
The shaken survivor, who was amazingly still clutching her cigarette when she got up, said: “I turned to look just as it was coming. I didn’t have a chance to move and I nearly died. I can only say God himself saved me.”
She is seen flinching as the vehicle comes hurtling towards her.
“I go to the market every day to get some bread. My five-year-old son was with me and went into the shop and I stood outside,” she said.
“All I remember is suddenly finding myself on the ground. The bike had already gone past. I got up and looked for my son. I’m still in shock.
“Thank God my child wasn’t with me because he would almost certainly have been hit and it could have been fatal,” she said with a sigh of relief.
Stunned witnesses were quickly on the scene to help the victims and were shocked to see both had survived without serious injuries.
The motorcyclist was conscious and took his helmet off as he lay face down on the ground.
The housewife, who was checked over at hospital and given the all clear, said: “What amazes me most is that I was nearly killed on the sidewalk. I’ve always thought I was safe on the pavement but now I have a different idea.”
She said the incident brought back horrific memories of her sister’s death who was killed in a motorcycle accident five years ago.
“Thankfully it wasn’t my time to go,” she reflected. “But I dread to think what could have happened if more than one person was standing there at that time.”
Police have opened an investigation and the motorist, who allegedly caused the crash, has been charged with dangerous driving.