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Westminster Bridge terror attack: 'Chaos' as pedestrians tried to escape

Westminster Bridge terror attack: 'Chaos' as pedestrians tried to escape

Pedestrians tried to escape the "chaos" of the 2017 Westminster terror attack but never stood a chance, a witness has told the inquest into their deaths.Kylie Smith, a teacher accompanying a group of children, described seeing Khalid Masood's car hit people."It was very clearly a deliberate act. The way he turned the car to change the direction," she told the Old Bailey.Four people were killed on Westminster Bridge before PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death outside Parliament."It was chaos. It was just chaos," Ms Smith told the hearing. "People trying to get out of the way but nobody really had a chance."
Those killed in the attack on 22 March last year were Kurt Cochran, 54, Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Andreea Cristea, 31.
Victims of the Westminster terror attack
Westminster attack: What happened
Westminster inquest: Day one
Ms Smith said she saw American tourist Mr Cochran and his wife Melissa "walking hand in hand...having a nice time"."The car came towards them. The man tried to pull his girlfriend behind him, tried to shield her from the impact," she said."The man went over the car and just flew up in the air."
Clockwise from top left - PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade, Leslie Rhodes, Andreea Cristea and Kurt Cochran all lost their lives
Police say the attack began at 14:40 when Masood's vehicle, a rented Hyundai Tucson SUV, mounted the kerb on Westminster Bridge, travelling at an average speed of 31mph.
Westminster attack '82 seconds of terrible drama'
Mr Cochran - who was standing with his wife at the south side of the bridge - was the first to be hit. Giving evidence, Mrs Cochran, from Utah, told the inquest they had been sightseeing for two and a half hours before the attack, "cramming everything in we could".She said: "I remember seeing the front of a car revving. I remember seeing the front of the vehicle. The next thing I remember, being on the ground."
'Almighty crash'
Mrs Cochran, who spent about a month in hospital recovering from serious injuries, said she did not recall being pushed out of the way by her husband, but said such behaviour was "typical" of him.
CCTV Kurt and Melissa Cochran walking on Westminster Bridge before the attack was shown in court
Another witness, Neil Hulbert, described how he heard an "almighty crash" and saw Mr Cochran "flying through the air" over the balustrade of the bridge. He said: "I guessed some sort of vehicle was involved, just the way he was ejected over. I did not notice there was any movement from him as such. I knew then it was going to be serious."Paramedic James Richards said he arrived at the scene minutes after the attack."Initially we saw several abandoned vehicles, many people moving in different directions, casualties around clearly injured, generally a scene of chaos," he said."I remember approaching several casualties and checking each was conscious, breathing."He was then informed Mr Cochran was on the embankment below the bridge and attended to him.At first Mr Cochran had "rasping" breath, the paramedic said, but his condition deteriorated over the next 17 minutes and he was pronounced dead as Big Ben was chiming at 15:00.
Westminster attack
London
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