Traumatic rupture of the pericardium with cardiac herniation is rare. Clinicians are often unfamiliar with the clinical and radiological manifestations of the injury, and the diagnosis is frequently missed preoperatively. This case report describes a patient with multiple trauma following a fall from a height, who developed this injury. The diagnosis was not made preoperatively despite suggestive clinical, electrocardiographic and radiological findings. Clinicians need to be aware of the presentation of this potentially fatal injury so that the diagnosis can be made and treatment instituted at an earlier stage. Pericardial rupture with cardiac herniation presents as cardiogenic shock, mimicking cardiac tamponade.