Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Bridge Street/Kesgrave: Quick-thinking hero rescues teacher from river crash

12:33 12 February 2014

Jenny Acheson

Jenny Acheson

A teacher has told how she feared she was going to die after her car plunged into a swollen river and began filling with water - only to be dramatically rescued by a quick-thinking hero.

Jenny Acheson’s car had skidded off the road in treacherous conditions at Bridge Street, just outside Long Melford.

But Lee Lovering, whose home is beside the river, heard the commotion and was quickly on scene - jumping into the river and pulling Ms Acheson from the vehicle via the passenger window.

The river was rising to its highest level for more than a decade, and the teacher says her life may have been saved by his quick actions.

Ms Acheson, 25, was on her way home to Lawshall at around 11.20pm on Thursday. The car swerved, hit a road sign and then plummeted down the 12ft bank into Chad Brook, a tributary of the River Stour.

Ms Acheson, who is an English teacher at Kesgrave High School, said: “When I felt the car skidding, I braced myself and remember hitting something - then I felt the car dropping downwards.

“When I realised I was going to end up in the river, I thought I was going to die. The water was rising so fast.

“The fire service said that if I had landed nine inches further in, or if the car had gone in sideways, it would have been submerged and I would have drowned.

“I can’t thank the people who helped me enough – especially Lee. I was in such a state of shock and it was his quick thinking that saved my life.

“I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who looked after me.”

Mr Lovering said: “I heard a crash and ran straight out into the garden. I could hear her screaming ‘help me’ over and over again, so I scrambled down the bank into the water.

“It was only a matter of seconds before I got there, but in that time, the water was well inside the car and was right up to the passenger window.

“If she had been knocked unconscious and had been unable to shout for help, within a few hours when the water levels had risen, she would definitely have drowned.”

Maureen Lankester also heard Ms Acheson’s cries and rushed to her aid. She said: “I heard the bang when the car hit the sign and a salt bin by the road and then I could hear someone literally screaming.

“By that time, Lee had dragged her out of the car and up the bank. She was in such a state - I just cuddled her until the paramedics arrived.

“A few hours later, the river came right up to the top of the bank so it would have been impossible to have got her out. She was very lucky in the circumstances.”

Fire crews from Long Melford and Sudbury, along with water incident vehicles from Bury St Edmunds and Princes Street, were called to assist. Paramedics arrived at the scene and eventually took Ms Acheson to West Suffolk Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a suspected collar bone fracture and soft tissue damage. But she admits she was lucky to escape bruised, battered and shaken.

0 comments

A nine-year-old boy from Suffolk is preparing to fly to Rome for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – where he will sing for the Pope.

A 62-year-old motorcyclist who died at the scene of a two vehicle collision near RAF Barnham on Thursday has been named as Peter Hancock from Sudbury.

It’s been nearly 50 years since women workers at Ford’s Dagenham plant went on strike for equal rights, writes Wayne Savage.

Police have released an e-fit image of a man they want to speak to in connection to a burglary in Braintree.

A fire engine from Ipswich’s Princes Street station was called to extinguish a fire in a pile of rubbish this morning.

Daniel O’Donnell superfans queued up at the Regent Theatre in Ipswich this morning to grab a ticket to see their idol - some getting there as soon as 5am to secure a seat near the front.

Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected as the leader of the Labour Party.

Parents of an Ipswich boy who died due to an optometrist’s negligence have pledged their support to a campaign to raise eye health awareness, hoping it will prevent a similar tragedy.

Border patrols are reported to have been stepped up along Suffolk’s coast following widespread criticism of the slow response to a recent people smuggling investigation.

Firefighters have been called to a small rubbish fire in Princes Street, Ipswich.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24