Suffolk car fire: Drivers rescue woman from crash blaze

  • 7 December 2013
  • From the section Suffolk

A woman was rescued from her car by fellow drivers in Suffolk seconds before it burst into flames.

The car was in collision with a lorry before veering into a hedge on the A140, between Mendlesham and Earl Stonham.

Passing drivers stopped to help the woman, who was initially trapped against the steering wheel in the car.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service described the drivers' actions as "heroic and thoughtful".

'Car engulfed'

Rescuer Mark Thompson, of Norwich, said: "We saw the car go into the hedge... and straight away saw it was on fire.

"We jumped out and went to the car, someone opened the door and a woman was inside.

"Her seat had gone forward and she was trapped against the steering wheel and the flames were licking up inside the car burning her legs.

Image caption Eyewitness acted in a "thoughtful and heroic" way, the fire service said

"We undid the seatbelt and grabbed her arm and pulled her out and moved her up the road away from the fire. The car was engulfed in seconds. She was in shock more than anything."

Following the crash, which happened at about 08:30 GMT, the woman was taken to hospital, where she was treated for shock and burns to her leg.

Fire crews from Eye, Debenham and Stowmarket attended the blaze.

Carl Francis, of the fire service, said: "The people who happened upon the incident acted very thoughtfully, very heroically.

"They considered the circumstances. The lady was obviously shocked... the fire had started at the time of impact and their evaluation that she wasn't going to suffer substantially by moving her and removing her from the area, whereas the fire was only going to develop.

"They have undoubtedly saved an incident that could have been very much worse."

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