Mother and baby escape sinking car

A MOTHER has spoken of her incredible escape after the car she was driving plunged into a water-filled ditch with her two-month-old baby son inside.

A MOTHER has spoken of her incredible escape after the car she was driving plunged into a water-filled ditch with her two-month-old baby son inside.

American Sonya Ledeboer, 19, was travelling to RAF Lakenheath to visit her husband Daniel, 20, a maintenance engineer, when she swerved to avoid another vehicle and careered into the waters.

She then struggled to free baby Aiden from a child seat in the back of the Honda car, forced open a door and swam free.

The accident, on Tuesday at Prickwillow, Cambridgeshire, happened just yards from the A1101, where 20-year-old American Cortina Hamilton and her three children were killed just two weeks ago.

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This tragedy prompted senior officers at both Mildenhall and Lakenheath to instruct their fellow Americans not to overtake on narrow fenland roads, for fear their safety might be compromised.

Mrs Ledeboer, from Ely, who has lived in England for six months, has been praised by police officers for keeping a cool head during her ordeal, and saving the life of her baby son. Police said their escape from the dyke was "incredible".

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"I was driving around a corner, and there was another car coming towards me and I swerved and my car toppled over and went into the dyke," she said.

"I was upside down and the water was coming up. My first thought was not to panic, to get free, and get to Aiden.

"At first I couldn't undo my seat belt. But I managed to do that and get into the back and unclip his baby seat.

"The car then moved and started going lower into the water and we were thrown apart but I managed to get a back door open and pull him out. I took Aiden out of the seat and swam a few yards to the bank and grabbed hold of some reeds.

"I was wondering how long it would be before someone came to help when a tractor driver, who had seen what had happened, arrived and helped us. By the time we had got to the bank the car had sunk and was out of sight."

Mrs Ledeboer suffered a bruised shin in the accident, but Aiden escaped without injury.

"We were fine. The worst thing was the cold water – we were going numb," she added.

"Aiden was awake, and started crying because of the cold water but he's fine.

"I was a little bit worried about getting back into a car the day after but I'm not so bad now. I don't know if the escape was miraculous or not but my only advice to anyone else would be to stay cool and don't panic."

A police spokesman said: "This was an incredible escape. She showed great coolness and courage in getting herself out and saving her baby's life."

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