Gallery: Otley crash victim tries to find hero who saved his life

Austin Squirrell who is looking for the man and woman who rescued him from his car  when he crashed and was in danger of drowning. Austin pictured here with his mother. Austin Squirrell who is looking for the man and woman who rescued him from his car when he crashed and was in danger of drowning. Austin pictured here with his mother.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
11:24 AM

A teenage driver who says he was rescued from certain death by an unknown hero wants to identify the man who he didn’t get to thank properly.

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Austin Squirrell who is looking for the man and woman who rescued him from his car  when he crashed and was in danger of drowning. COLLECTAustin Squirrell who is looking for the man and woman who rescued him from his car when he crashed and was in danger of drowning. COLLECT

Austin Squirrell was driving home to Aldringham from Epsom in Surrey on Friday, December 6, where he’d been looking around a prospective university with his friends.

After dropping off a friend in Stowmarket he was making his way along the B1078 near Otley when he came round a bend and a deer ran in front of his car.

“I swerved to miss it and hit a slippery patch on the road and completely lost control,” said Austin, whose been driving for just over a year. “Then my car hit a fence and went up it and flipped down into a ditch and started to fill up with water and diesel.

“Honestly I thought I was going to die.”

Austin was trapped in the car in the dark as water from the ditch in which he had landed poured in, the doors were jammed closed and Austin had no signal on his mobile phone.

“I literally just sat in my car while the water poured in, I don’t know how long it was,” he said.

A woman who saw Austin’s lights stopped by the roadside and stayed with him before flagging down the man who would save Austin’s life.

“A woman found me and she managed to flag down the man who jumped into the ditch and pulled me out through the boot.”

After Austin had spent between 10 and 15 minutes in the car, the man had come on the scene, jumped into the water in the dark, smashed away the remaining glass in the car’s back window, removed the head rests from the seats and pulled Austin through the boot and out of the car.

Afterwards the man joked to Austin: “You’re probably the luckiest person I have met, can you give me some lottery numbers quickly?”

Both the man and woman stayed with Austin until the emergency services arrived about 20 minutes later, when police told Austin’s rescuer he was free to go.

“When I was in my car I thought that was it, I was going to die,” said Austin. “He saved me because by the time the police got there the water was covering the line of the windows.”

Although Austin thanked both the man and woman at the scene following his rescue, he and his mother Karen feel they haven’t had the chance to fully express their appreciation.

Now they want to identify the man who proved the difference between life and death for Austin on that fateful night.

2 comments

  • Amazing story! Very pleased that he managed to make it out safely, I think driving instructors need to do more to teach their students to drive over any animals. Put it this way, if someone said it's either you or the deer, one has to die I'm sure you wouldn't even hesitate to save yourself. To the hero that saved him, I salute you, you must've been feeling on top of the world for saving this lads life - some public recognition must be in order from police or the council? Very nice break to read this story from all of the evil stories that are published here about crime daily.

    Report this comment

    IpswichResident

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

  • My father 'David Stammers' was the one to help this lad out. Very proud of my dad. He is a very kind man and would help anyone in need. I am very glad Austin is all well and unharmed and so it my Father.

    Report this comment

    Becky Stammers

    Thursday, December 12, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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