An RAF Corporal’s quick-thinking actions helped keep her family safe when their vehicle ended up in a hedge after her dad passed out while driving.
Derek and Pamela Freeman were driving home from the Tanks, Trucks and Firepower Show along Rugby Road, Dunchurch, with their daughter, Fay, and two-year-old grandson, Logan, when the vehicle suddenly veered off to the left.
Derek, 69, had passed out at the wheel and the car mounted the kerb as Derek’s foot slammed down on the accelerator.
Fay, 30, who joined the Royal Air Force when she was 19, quickly grabbed hold of the wheel from the passenger side, put the car into neutral, and switched off the engine.
Pamela, 69, said she was in a state of shock after they ended up in a hedge.
“It was very scary and we really thought Derek had died because he was totally unresponsive. Being in the RAF, Fay is trained in first aid, so she quickly started helping her dad - it was very scary.”
Worried that the car could catch fire after the crash, Fay wound down her father’s window and jumped across him, out of the car. She then opened the door to allow her son and mum to climb out, and attempt to get her unconscious father out.
Derek slowly came round and began violently vomiting. “I opened my eyes and it was as though I was looking at a leafy screensaver on a computer. But slowly I realised that we had somehow ended up in a bush,” Derek said.
Fortunately an off-duty nurse had seen the incident and stopped to help. She was then joined by a practice nurse who also happened to be passing. Derek said: “The nurses and medical staff were incredible and they took really good care of me. We are so grateful to them for stopping and helping us, I feel blessed to have been looked after so well.”
Medical staff believed Derek was suffering from a water infection at the time of the incident and his body had rejected the food he had eaten shortly before driving home. The combination caused him to pass out.