Neighbours' incredible courage couldn't save crash victim
A SINGLE shoe just out the front of Dan Bice's front door served as a stark reminder to the life lost on his doorstep the night before.
Just after 8pm on Monday, a car hit a guard rail on Ewing St in Murwillumbah, went through a garden, side-swiped trees on the steep embankment and crashed into Mr Bice's house.
Tragically, the driver - a 59-year-old Murwillumbah man - died at the scene despite desperate attempts by Mr Bice and his neighbour Andrew Sims to save him.
Surveying the mangled garden the morning after, the humble pair said they didn't consider themselves heroes.
They were simply men who did what they had to do in a time of need.
Mr Bice worked to free the man and turn the still-revving car off through the driver's side door, while Mr Sims laid on the bonnet of the car and tried to keep the man's heart pumping through the windscreen.
Mr Bice's wife called for an ambulance.
When paramedics arrived the pair then helped free the man from the wreck, but he was declared dead at the scene.
"You see it in movies and think, 'how do those guys do it?'," Mr Sims said.
"Well, now I know … we both have experience in CPR and we just acted, we didn't think about it.
"We tried to keep his heart pumping to make sure the oxygen was still going around his blood.
"I've been in Murwillumbah all my life and I was fearful I would look through the car window and recognise the man.
"But I didn't know him.
"I'm a similar age and I've had phone calls of people concerned it was me."
Mr Sims said he believed the man had suffered a medical episode and had tried to get to the hospital, which was very close to the crash site.
NSW Volunteer Rescue Association Tweed District Rescue Squad president, Drew Carr, said the men were heroes.
"Anyone who has the courage to help out is a hero in my book," he said.
Tweed Byron Police District Chief Inspector Mick Dempsey also praised the actions of Mr Bice and Mr Sims.
He said inquiries were continuing into the cause of the crash.
There was minimal damage to the outside of the house and it remained structurally sound.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.