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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 August 2005, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
Woman lifts 20 times body weight
A young woman summoned up the strength to lift a car more than 20 times her body weight to free a trapped friend, despite being injured herself.

Kyla Smith, from Sunderland, was driving her MG ZR hatchback near Washington when it left the road and hit a tree.

Passenger Jonathon Connor's leg was stuck under the car as it rolled over.

So the 23-year-old lifted the car to allow him to escape, unaware that she had injured her back in the crash.

Ms Smith said: "I lost control of car, it hit a pile of bricks, which hit the steering arm and made wheels head for a tree. We hit the tree and the car came down on the passenger side.

If I'm in an injurious position I'd want that lady next to me
Dr Joan Harvey, Psychologist
"At this point Jonathon's leg was outside the car and it came down on his leg.

"I climbed out of the drivers window and saw that his leg was under the car, so I grabbed the sun roof visor, and lifted the car six or seven inches to get it out.

"I just knew I had to get him free and there was no-one else around at the time."

The 5ft 7in, eight-and-a-half-stone strongwoman was unaware that she was hurt herself.

"I bashed my head on the steering wheel on impact on the tree and as far I was aware I had a black eye and that was it."

She was taken to Sunderland General Hospital, where it was discovered she had damaged a vertebra in the accident.

Joan Harvey, a chartered psychologist at the University of Newcastle said: "What happens in an emergency is that all your physiology gets into gear and you can do things that are really quite superhuman.

"But in this sort of case probably only around 20 to 30% of us would have the wit to do what she did.

"Quite a lot of the rest would stand there and not know what to do, and in fact one or two at the opposite end of the scale might even become a liability and start screaming in panic.

"If I'm in an injurious position I'd want that lady next to me, I think we all would."

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