Heroes rescue woman from drowning

TWO heroes saved a woman's life after her car plunged into a ditch filled with freezing water.

James Mortlock

TWO heroes saved a woman's life after her car plunged into a ditch filled with freezing water.

David Savidge, 46, and Michal Gmaj, 30, faced a race against time as they worked to rescue the terrified woman, who was trapped in her car with her head under the icy water when they arrived on the scene.

The drama, which unfolded just off an icy road near Newmarket on Friday morning, was hampered when the pair found the doors of the Vauxhall jammed and they had to break the back window before they crawled inside, adjusted the victim's seat to get her head out of the water and then pulled her to safety.

The pair were driving along Brinkley Road, near Newmarket, when they realised there was a major problem ahead.

Mr Savidge, a vehicle quality controller, and Mr Gmaj, a van technician, who work for Marshall Motor Group, in Cambridge, were on a test drive at the time. Mr Savidge said: “We came over the hill and noticed a load of cars on the road and people walking around. A chap came over and told us it was best to turn around as there was a car in the ditch and someone still stuck in there.”

Most Read

He said most people drove off once they realised the emergency services had been called but the pair went to investigate themselves: “We went over there and saw that a lady was stuck in her car, which was upside down in a ditch. Her head was in the water and the water was rising as the snow and ice was melting. It was a race against time to get her out.”

The pair tried to open the windows and doors of the blue Vauxhall Corsa but they were jammed, so they decided to break the back window. They flattened out the rear seats and wound the driver's seat up so the woman's head was brought clear of the water.

Mr Savidge said: “We got her seatbelt off and managed to get her out of the car just as the emergency services arrived. She had lost feeling in her legs so she was having trouble walking. I think she was pretty scared and very, very cold.

“We were very relieved. The weather conditions were terrible and we did what we thought was necessary. We didn't hang around.”

Dr Christopher Walkinshaw, business development director at Marshall Motor Group, said he was proud of the Cambridge pair: “It was a great act of chivalry. While other people stood around, they put themselves into a certain element of danger - albeit they knew what they were doing - to rescue the lady. I think it was a great thing for them to do.”

A spokeswoman from the East of England Ambulance Trust said the woman received only minor injuries and was taken home by ambulance.

Police and fire services also attended the scene.