Widowed Westminster survivor Melissa Cochran: I feel only pity for Khalid Masood

A women whose husband died pushing her out of the way of the Westminster Bridge attacker's car, says she feels only pity for Khalid Masood and his family.

Melissa Cochran was walking over the bridge with her husband Kurt when Masood drove his rented 4x4 at pedestrians.

The couple had been visiting London as part of a trip to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

Mrs Cochran suffered a severely broken leg, broke three ribs, as well as her back in three places, and lacerations to her head and thigh but her injuries would have been far worse if it wasn't for her husband reacting to the incident and saving his wife's life by pushing her away from the on-coming car.

Mr Cochran was the hit by the Hyundai Tucson, which propelled him over the bridge and onto the pavement below. Despite the loss of her husband, Mrs Cochran says she feels sorry for Masood.

"I think he was, in his mind, was doing what he felt was necessary for his...plan. I don't even know, I can't even begin to understand," Mrs Cochran said.

"Obviously he changed my life forever and many people that day, including his own family. But I still stand where I don't hate him.

"I don't know where he was coming from, so I can't say that I even understand him, he just didn't have the compassion for humans that Kurt did and for that I feel sorry for him, I feel sorry for his family, sorry for people that feel that way, that think that way."

Melissa Cochran pictured with her husband Kurt who died in the attack. Credit: Press Association

Masood, 52, drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge on March 22 last year, killing American tourist Kurt, 54, retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea, 31.

He then stormed through gates near the Houses of Parliament and fatally stabbed Pc Keith Palmer with two knives.

An inquest into the death of 52-year-old Masood – who was shot dead by armed officers during the attack – will take place at a later date.

Kurt Cochran was hit while walking on the bridge with his wife Melissa. Credit: Met Police

After being struck by Masood's car, Mrs Cochran woke up on the bridge with little recollection of what had happened. She was taken to hospital, where she remained for three weeks.

Despite losing her husband, Mrs Cochran says she was always pleased to have survived the terror attack.

"From day one, from the beginning, from the time I opened my eyes I was grateful to be alive.

"Obviously, I am super sad that Kurt is not here and it's really hard without him but never once have I not wanted to be here without him, knowing that he saved me, sure makes me want to make him proud and recover the best I can and do what the best I can for my family and myself."

The two met at a party in 1992 and had been together for 25 years when the incident happened. Mrs Cochran says the man she loved would have risked his own life for anyone's if such an occasion arose.

"They told me that he pushed me out of the way of the path of the car and basically sacrificed his life for mine.

"It isn't surprising, to be honest. Kurt would have done that for anyone, honestly. The fact that it was me standing next to him, if it had been you or a complete stranger Kurt was just that kind of guy.

"He was selfless and just super kind, he was compassionate and loved people, which is obviously one of the reasons I loved him so much. He taught me a lot."