Driver freed after crashing into mud bed
By James HoreA TEENAGE driver, rescued in a dramatic operation after her car flipped over and landed on a mud bed, is recovering in hospital.The 18-year-old student, who escaped with a broken arm and cuts, was trapped upside down in the car by a fence and with her face only inches from the thick mud for more than an hour following the crash in East Mersea.
By James Hore
A TEENAGE driver, rescued in a dramatic operation after her car flipped over and landed on a mud bed, is recovering in hospital.
The 18-year-old student, who escaped with a broken arm and cuts, was trapped upside down in the car by a fence and with her face only inches from the thick mud for more than an hour following the crash in East Mersea.
An inflatable “rescue path” was used by emergency services to cross the thick mud to reach her.
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Leading firefighter Colin Jowers, from Colchester fire station, said the woman - who has not been named - had been only inches away from sinking under the mud.
“She was upside down and there was a length of fencing through the car which was pinning her inside the car,” he added.
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“We cut that away, but her head was resting on the mud - another couple of inches and she would have been face first in the mud.”
The side of the woman's Ford Fiesta was cut away and then she was turned over on to a backboard to support her spine.
The woman, who had swerved to avoid a collision before she crashed, was taken to Colchester General Hospital for treatment.
Firefighters from Colchester, West Mersea and Wivenhoe attended the accident, which happened at about 6.40pm on Thursday at The Strood, which links Mersea Island to the mainland.
Although it happened at high tide, the sea was not as far up as it can reach, which emergency services said had prevented a far worse scenario.
John Jowers, borough councillor for West Mersea, said: “Cars going into the salt beds can be quite a regular occurrence at the other end of the causeway, but that must have been a freak incident there.
“She was very lucky indeed - had it been a spring tide, they would have been a serious risk of her drowning.”