Keen athlete rescues elderly driver from a sinking car near Outwell

08:13 20 May 2014

Ray Matthews

Ray Matthews

Archant

A passing motorist pulled an elderly man to safety after he found him trapped in his sinking car on a winding country road between Outwell and Downham Market.

The Brighton triathlete was on his way home after coming to the Fens to pick up a bike he had bought from ebay when he saw the sinking Skoda Citigo on the A1122 on Saturday at about 5pm.

Ray Matthews, who stopped when he saw a commotion at the side of the road, said: “It was really surreal - one minute I was driving along a beautiful country road having collected a racing bike bought from ebay and the next minute I had jumped into water and was grappling with a door to get an old man out of his car.

“I think he must have had a stroke at some point in the past as he said his left arm had no feeling and he couldn’t undo his seat belt.

“The water was rushing in to the car and it was sinking pretty quick. His window was half open and I managed to yank the door open.

“I then had to duck my head under water to undo his seat belt.

“Luckily another motorist jumped into the water and helped me drag him to the side of the riverbank where his wife was. I think she was in shock.

“I can only assume he had parked up and was going to start up again and had accidentally put his foot on an accelerator instead of a brake and ended up in the water.”

Mr Matthews, 48, then drove to the Lamb and Flag pub at Welney where he changed into a set of runners clothes that, being a keen athlete, he always keeps in the boot of his car.

“It was the most surreal experience, walking into a village pub soaking wet,” said Mr Matthews, who runs his own curtain and blind upholstery business in Brighton.

Norfolk Police and the Fire and Rescue Service confirmed the old man did not need to be taken to hospital.

A Norfolk Police spokesman said it remained a mystery as to why the car had ended up in a water-filled ditch.

The spokesman said: “The ditch is quite deep and the car was partially submerged. Luckily there were no injuries and they were taken home while the vehicle was pulled out of the water.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Wisbech Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Wisbech Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Wisbech Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

11:06
Four vehicles collided on the A1 at Sawtry. Picture: Cambs Fire Facebook.

A man had to be cut free from a van following a four vehicle collision on the A1 - involving two LGVs, one van and a car - this morning.

11:01
The tractor ended up in a ditch. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Facebook

A tractor containing weed killer fell into a ditch, causing a chemical leak at the Forty Foot Bank, on Saturday.

10:41
Ely Eel Day, the parade in the High Street,

The streets of Ely came alive with the hustle and bustle of a carnival atmosphere when the popular eel and food festival came to the city over the bank holiday weekend.

10:09
Drifter. Picture: Steve Williams.

Drifter the dog, who caused a social media stir when he ran loose around Wisbech for four weeks before being trapped by rescuers, is making sure he becomes infamous around the Fens - by breaking free from his high security galvanised steel kennel.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wisbech Standard e-edition today E-edition