Trapped Budleigh woman freed from car after accident

AN ELDERLY woman had to be pulled from a car after her vehicle overturned and landed on its side in a stream.

The incident, which happened at around 3.40pm last Sunday, November 28, in Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton, has prompted some residents to call for improved safety railings to avoid a repeat occurrence in the future.

Marienne Carnochan, of Kersbrook Farmhouse, veered across the street from her parking place outside the Spar shop, struck and broke through the metal railings and ploughed into the Brook.

The pensioner, who was driving an automatic car, believed she mistakenly pressed the accelerator peddle instead of the brake as she left her parking space.

Two fire crews were called to help free her. Budleigh police officers Simon Blyth and Simon Evans also attended the scene as well paramedics.

Grateful to the emergency services for their help, she said: “They were extremely kind, particularly the police, and came to my help so quickly. I was very lucky to come out of it uninjured.”

District councillor Steve Hall, whose car was hit by the Ms Carnochan’s before it landed in the stream, said: “She came across the road at a 90 degree angle straight into the Brook. The vehicle slowly rolled on to its side which trapped her.”

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PC Simon Blyth and PC Simon Evans were first onto the scene having witnessed the incident from the police station opposite.

The officers jumped into the stream and smashed the window so they were able to talk to Ms Carnochan.

Cllr Hall said: “It wasn’t until the fire brigade came that the woman was able to be freed. They somehow managed to reach through the smashed window and fish her out.”

Mr Hall said if the incident had happened in the summer when the high street was busier, the outcome could have been a lot worse.

“She had a lucky escape. There could quite easily have been a fatality if it had happened in the summer with people parking in the nearby car park and then walking to the sea front alongside the railings.”

Speaking about the need for improved railings, Cllr Hall said: “We have been banging on about them to Devon County Council for a long while – at least to refurbish them.

“They are obviously not strong enough to withstand the impact from cars.”

James Maslen, 23, trainee manager at the Spar shop, in Fore Street, witnessed the aftermath of the incident. He said: “I have known there to be around four incidents to happen like this in recent years.

“I would definitely support any call for new and improved railings.”

A spokesperson for Devon County Council said: “The area was made safe yesterday and an order has been placed for the barrier to be permanently repaired, however there are currently no proposals to improve it.”