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Firefighters race to rescue car crash woman from rising tide

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 23, 2012

Cockwood Harbour

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Firefighters raced against the clock to free an injured woman from a car trapped in a muddy harbour with the tide rising in the dark.

Emergency crews rushed to Cockwood Harbour near Starcross, Exeter, after the car ploughed into a wall, rolled over and landed on its wheels in mud. To free the woman fire crews sliced the roof of the vehicle off before carefully placing her on a spinal board.

By the time the woman was brought to safety the tide had crept up around 1ft around the stranded car. Two other people in the vehicle had already been helped out and were not believed to be seriously injured.

The accident happened at around 9.50pm on Sunday leaving the woman with spinal and leg injuries.

Tony Jones, of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said the rescuers were "conscious that the water was coming in very quickly".

Meanwhile yesterday, a driver escaped the scene of a potentially serious fire in Paignton. At 5.27am a van overturned on the A385 Totnes Road outside the Devon Hill Holiday park.

The crash brought down an electricity pylon and power cables. Police, paramedics and Western Power were called to the scene where police say live wires were lying alongside fuel which had leaked from the van.

The driver of the white Ford Transit van was out of the vehicle when emergency services arrived. He was said to be suffering from shock and was taken to Torbay Hospital as a precaution.

Elsewhere, a 48-year-old woman from Ottery St Mary yesterday remained in critical condition in hospital following an accident during the early hours of Sunday. At 12.25am the female passenger suffered multiple life-threatening injuries in a head-on crash on the A30 at Clyst Honiton, near Exeter Airport.

She was travelling in a silver Seat Altea when it collided with a silver Vauxhall Astra.

Police said they think the Astra was travelling west on the east-bound carriageway when it crashed head-on with the Seat travelling in the opposite direction.

The woman remains in a critical state at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

The 49-year-old male driver of the Seat, also from Ottery St Mary, was taken to the same hospital with serious injuries.

In Cornwall, a man and a 12-year-old boy were seriously hurt after their car careered off the road and crashed on the A389, Padstow, North Cornwall.

Police said no other vehicle apart from the silver Peugeot 307 was involved in the smash at about 9.20am on Sunday.

It happened opposite the entrance to Padstow Holiday Park as the car headed towards Winnards Perch.

The man and boy, both from the Padstow area – were airlifted to Derriford Hospital where police described their injuries as "serious."

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