Motorist hailed a hero after crawling through wreck to help elderly crash victim in Newton Aycliffe (From The Northern Echo)
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Overtake led to collision, say police, as two hurt in Middridge accident
A MOTORIST has been hailed a hero after crawling through the wreck of a car that had rolled several times, trapping its elderly driver.
The 73-year-old woman from Newton Aycliffe had been visiting her mother and was travelling on Middridge Lane, Middridge, Newton Aycliffe, this afternoon (Friday) when she was involved in the accident with another car.
Police and fire and rescue crews from Newton Aycliffe and Darlington. along with medics, were called to the scene at 3.20pm.
The male driver of one of the cars, a 43-year-old local man, was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough with head injuries and a suspected broken pelvis.
The other victim could not get out of her car due to a suspected fractured sternum and the condition of the vehicle and had to be cut out by firefighters before being taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital.
A spokesman for Durham Constabularly said the cars, a Citroen DS3 and a Ford Focus, were travelling in the same direction at the time, when the Focus attempted an overtake.
"Both vehicles have been travelling east on the road, when the Citroen DS3 has made an attempt to overtake the Ford Focus," said Insp Malcolm Smart. "Whilst attempting the manoeuvre, the Citroen has collided with the rear of the Ford resulting in both vehicles losing control and subsequently overturning."
The road was closed for three hours while police investigated.
Last night, the pensioner's grandson, who did not want to be named, said he wanted to thank the driver that stayed with his grandmother until she could be released.
“I don’t know who this guy is, but I would like to find out,” he said. “He crawled through the wreckage of the car and held her up until the rescue services came.
“My nana said he got in her car and held her up with his back, just to support her, because she was upside down. My nana is only little, that might have saved her as well. My grandad was saying if he had been driving the car, because he is tall, it might have been different.”
Her grandson said he did not know, if faced with the same circumstances, if he would have been as brave as the mystery motorist.
“I don’t know what I would say (if I met him),” he said. “I don’t know how you go about thanking someone for being brave enough to crawl through a car that is upside down and smashed to pieces, because I know the first thing that would go through my head would be 'is that car going to explode?'. He didn’t care and just went in there and held up my nana.”
The grandson said he was from a family of strong women.
“I saw her before she taken in for tests. She was all hooked up to a machine, had oxygen etc. She is 73, but all the women in my family are stubborn .... she is a fighter,” he said.
“When I walked in she was out cold, but my grandad said that when she had been able to speak with him she was more worried about what was in the back of the car and stuff that was on at home.”
Station Manager Steve Cummings, of Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue, said the man's actions had undoubtedly helped in what had been a serious collision.
"He definitely did a good job," he said. "(The lady) was assessed by the paramedics at scene as being the less urgent casualty, so our attentions were turned to the other motorist who was the most severely injured.
"The second appliance was directed to extricate the lady. She came out on a longboard through the back of the vehicle."
Anyone with information is asked to call the Collision Investigation Unit on 0191-3752159.
Were you the heroic motorist? Call the newsdesk on 01325-505065 or email email@example.com
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