A PENSIONER fell backwards down the stairs of a York bus and landed on a heavily pregnant woman.

Strangers Ray Vince, 76, and Christine Young both got on the number one First bus outside the Theatre Royal in York and were among a group still standing when the bus pulled away.

Mr Vince, of Bramham Grove, Chapelfields, who is profoundly deaf, had reached the top of the stairs and fell backwards on to Mrs Young who is seven-months pregnant and took much of the force of the fall.

Mrs Young and her unborn baby were unharmed, but Mr Vince suffered a head cut.

Mrs Young, 30, of Burnsall Drive, Acomb, said: “As the bus left I hadn’t had chance to sit down. The next thing I know Ray was on top of me.

“He didn’t hurt my bump, but I hurt my neck and the bus driver was in that much shock he didn’t know what to do.

“Another passenger helped me to put Ray on to a seat. He had cut his head open and was bleeding badly and he was having difficulty breathing, which made me think he might have broken a rib or something.”

Mrs Young phoned an ambulance and paramedics took Mr Vince to York Hospital. Mrs Young, who is married to Scott and has a daughter, Holly, eight, was at the hospital later the same day for a routine appointment and the pair bumped into each other after Mr Vince had had his head wound treated.

Mr Vince and his wife Margaret, 73, wrote to The Press to express their thanks to Mrs Young, and the pair were reunited at our offices in Walmgate.

Mr Vince, who was an estate worker at Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire before he retired, said he was so pleased to be able to thank Mrs Young again in person.

Mrs Vince said: “We are both just so indebted to Christine because she was such a kind and caring person to an elderly man, especially as we live in an age now where people are so busy and quite often don’t have the time for the people they know let alone a total stranger.”

Mrs Young, a senior care officer in a residential home, said she had reported the incident to First.

A spokesman for First York said: “We have received a complaint from Mrs Young about this incident and as a result have carried out a full and detailed investigation into this matter. This includes interviewing the driver and looking at all available CCTV footage.

"We would like to apologise to both Mrs Young and Mr Vince for this incident as passengers should be given sufficient time to get to their seats before a bus sets off.

"As a company, First will look to learn lessons and will be reaffirming its safety messages to its drivers to ensure that we continue to improve our passenger safety record."