Newsbeat

Snapchat helps save mum and daughter from car crash

Gemma and Martha Fairweather and their crashed car Image copyright SWNS

A mum and her daughter were rescued from a car crash after a 15-year-old tracked them down on Snapchat Maps.

Gemma and Martha Fairweather were driving home when their car skidded off a Suffolk road - deep into a ditch.

They'd been on a day out in Lowestoft with Gemma's boyfriend Graham and his son Sam.

"We were teetering on the edge on our side," Gemma tells Radio 1 Newsbeat. "We could see and hear water to the left of us through the window."

The car had come off the road on a blind corner. Gemma says she'd braked when she was dazzled by the lights of an oncoming car on Sunday night.

They were unable to get out of the car, and she says every movement they made threatened to rock the car closer to the running water.

Image copyright SWNS
Image caption Gemma says her car skidded off the road on mud and leaves

'The emergency services couldn't find us'

Gemma had taken a "nice quiet road" home on purpose so she could drive at a low speed she felt comfortable with.

But it meant neither the emergency services or her partner could find them - despite Gemma trying to give details of their location from her Sat Nav.

"The emergency services seemed to be on other roads and couldn't find us," Gemma says.

"It was either that or as they were driving past we were so down into the ditch and away from the road that nobody could see us."

But while Gemma was on the phone to the emergency services, she was also messaging Sam, who was looking for them with his dad.

"Sam was texting me saying 'we can't find you' and then he had a really bright idea of going onto Snapchat.

"He said: 'Go onto Snapchat, I'll be able to find you on Snapchat Maps'."

The ambulance service then contacted Graham and Sam, who was able to direct them to Gemma and Martha using Snapchat's location function.

"Just as they turned up, the fire brigade turned up as well, because they were the highest vehicle who could see us in the ditch and see our hazards," says Gemma.

"Everybody turned up at once thanks to Sam and his quick thinking with Snapchat."

Sadly Sam - the hero of the story - is currently on a school trip in Belgium and was unable to speak to Newsbeat about his part in the rescue.

'It was nice to have known you mummy'

Image copyright SWNS
Image caption "I held her hand and said that things were going to be OK," says Gemma about waiting for rescue

Gemma says her knowledge of first aid helped her keep her daughter calm, but on the inside she was beginning to panic.

"The thing that was heart-wrenching for me was when Martha turned to me and said 'It was nice to have known you mummy'.

"That will stay with me for the rest of my life without a doubt."

Gemma says she has previously had concerns about sharing her location over social media.

"I did worry about people finding you. But in this instance, it was a really good resource, even for the emergency services."

And Gemma says the incident has even brought her, her partner and their children closer together.

"I don't know if I would have thought 'Yes, Snapchat Maps, you'll be able to find us'," says Gemma.

"But obviously for a 15-year-old, it was the answer. He was definitely the hero of the day."

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