A British construction worker has described how he tried desperately to save the life of Brisbane native Sara Zelenak, whose family this week confirmed she was killed in the London terror attack that left eight dead and dozens more injured.
Gerard Vowls, 47, told The Australian he spotted terrorists Youssef Zaghba, Khuram Butt and Rachid Redouane going after the 21-year-old nanny and picked up a rental bike to throw at them as a distraction.
“I wanted to distract them, to stop them, I wanted them to turn attention to me, rather than the blonde girl [Zelenak],” he said. “She was crying out ‘Help me! Help me!’, and I tried so hard, screaming to get them to look at me.”
“I had no weapon but I saw a bike on the ground and tried to use that. As I went to throw it, one of the attackers turned to me with his machete and started to chase me. I wanted all of them to chase me so they would leave her alone and so I ran…”
His brave intervention tragically failed and the attacker pursuing him turned his attention back to Zelenak, who had walked out of nearby bar when the terrorists’ van crashed.
She and friend Pri Goncalves turned south towards Borough Market to investigate the loud noise and unwittingly walked directly into the path of danger.
Goncalves ran back across the bridge once she realised something was very wrong, and thought Zelenak was behind her, but she must have headed in the other direction.
Her mum, Julie Wallace – who flew to London to help find her then-still-missing daughter – confirmed on Facebook that her body had been identified by authorities earlier this week.
“Sara Zelenak is confirmed dead they found her body and has DNA tests confirmed thank you for all the overwhelming love and support from everyone,” she wrote.
Vowls said he was speaking out so Zelenak’s family could take comfort in the knowledge someone tried to save her life.
“To Sara’s family, I just want to say I am so very sorry for their loss. I really tried to help her and get them to chase me. I am ripped apart knowing she died, it’s destroying me.”
Source: The Australian.