Grandmother is trampled by cows and severely injured saving her six-year-old granddaughter


A grandmother was trampled by ‘frenzied cows foaming at the mouth’ after trying to save her terrified granddaughter from a charging herd.

Lisa Wells suffered broken ribs and had to be taken to hospital on Sunday after walking along a footpath in Snowdonia with her granddaughter Bethan Ritchie.

The 49-year-old was  ‘severely injured’, while Bethan, aged seven, had been released after spending a short time in hospital. 

The pair had been on a footpath walking with their dogs towards Crimpiau when they were charged by around 20 cows and a bull.

Eyewitnesses described the animals as ‘going nuts’ and foaming at the mouth as they circled around Miss Wells and seven year old Bethan.

The pair had climbed onto a mound of higher ground for protection, but as they tried to escape they were charged.

Miss Wells, a human resources manager from Abergele, was left unconscious and had to be airlifted to hospital in Stoke-on-Trent. 

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue team carried the woman to and air ambulance, which then flew her to Royal Stoke Hospital.

A statement from the rescuers said: ‘They were charged by a herd of cows but two mountain bikers chased the cows away.

‘Shortly after, the cows charged again and the woman was trampled while protecting the child.

‘Severely injured, she was assisted by passers-by and both an ambulance and the air ambulance were tasked.’

The youngster was taken to nearby Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan, but was released a short time later.

One of the mountain bikers who tried to rescue the pair said it was lucky that no-one had been killed.

Alun Jones, 47, said he and 48-year-old brother Andy were alerted by screams coming from the field.

He said: ‘We saw a lady and a young girl on a slightly raised bit of grass. They were surrounded by cows. The cows were going nuts, circling around them and getting closer and closer. There was a large bull as well.

‘We could tell something was not right, as cows don’t normally react like that. We went over to see if we could help and expected the animals would move on with a little persuasion, but they were foaming at the mouth, and the bull was digging its head into the ground and rutting with its front legs.

‘The cows dropped back about 50 to a 100 metres and at that point the lady and the little girl and my brother made a run for the fence line. But the cows unfortunately charged and as Lisa tried to get through the gate the cows hit her and kept hitting her before we could get her out.’

Mr Jones, a chartered surveyor who lives in the Capel Curig area, said Ms Wells managed to stay conscious while they got to safety, but the cows ‘looked like they were going to break down the gate’.

He added: ‘The cows were crazy, in some sort of frenzy, and then ran off and disappeared.’

Mr Jones said Ms Wells’ small dogs, Billy and Poppy were both on leads and had not spooked the cows.

‘The main thing that has to be said is she wasn’t doing anything wrong. She is a very experienced mountain walker who is accustomed to coming across livestock. The next person might not be so lucky and you could be looking at a dead body. It’s just lucky that no-one died.’

Ms Wells had taken Ysgol Glan Gele pupil Bethan out for the day so Bethan’s mother Gemma Ritchie, who 14 weeks ago gave birth to baby Alexander, could catch up on some rest.

Mrs Ritchie, 34, from Abergele, said her mum was a highly experienced walker and mountaineer, was half way through a mountain leader training course and is an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion.

She said Miss Wells, who is also motjer to Jack, 23, and 17-year-old Millie, was in a lot of pain but was being given morphine and is set to have an operation on Tuesday at the Midlands hospital.

She said: ‘She can’t remember much because she went unconscious as they were kicking her and banging into her. She came to get up and escape and then it’s all a bit sketchy. Bethan was so upset and traumatised and she couldn’t bear to see what was happening.

‘From what she’s told me she put Bethan in front of her, to protect her from the cows running at them. She did everything she could to shield her.’


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