Crash survivor tells of miracle escapes

CRASH survivor Carole Freeman knows she is lucky to be alive today.Almost two weeks after she was involved in a four car smash on the A12 near Kelsale, the mother of two bears painful injuries that are a stark reminder of the nightmare she entered on her way to pick up her five-year-old grandaughter.

By Jessica Nicholls

CRASH survivor Carole Freeman knows she is lucky to be alive today.

Almost two weeks after she was involved in a four car smash on the A12 near Kelsale, the mother of two bears painful injuries that are a stark reminder of the nightmare she entered on her way to pick up her five-year-old grandaughter.

While driving her gold-coloured Range Rover towards Yoxford she became embroiled in a smash that left one man dead.

She has been told that if she had been in a smaller car she would almost certainly have been killed.

She said: "I kept telling the ambulance men to go and help the man in the other car because I knew I was alright but they came back and said it was OK there was someone looking after him.

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"It was not until I read the newspaper in hospital the next day that I knew he was dead, it is an awful feeling to have."

Carole was reported as having sustained minor injuries in the crash, but to her, the accident has had a knock on effect has been far more major.

In a split second her life was turned upside down - she can no longer help with deliveries in the running of her and partner Mike Prutton's business Prutton's Potatoes, and has to be helped in and out of bed as well as constantly feeling tired.

The A12 has been branded a killer road - but having lived in the Saxmundham area all her life, Carole knows that the road is not the problem and has appealed to drivers to take more time, because no matter how late you are, life is too precious to take chances.

She said: "You have to fit the lost time in somewhere else and then you are not going to put innocent people's lives at risk."

It was around 8.20am when Carole set off from her home in Main Road, Carlton, near Saxmundham to pick up her little grandaughter to take her to school.

Suddenly she was involved in a collision that sent her car spinning across the road and into a stream of traffic travelling in the other direction. Her car was then hit by a lorry.

As a result of the crash she broke two ribs, damaged her spleen and her third vertebrae, broke her knuckle and is nursing huge yellow and black bruises across her body.

It was not until she was recovering in hospital that she was realised the man whose car she had spun into had died.

For Carol it is now a matter of constantly telling herself that it was circumstances beyond her control that caused her car to spin across the road and that she just happened to be there.

At her home, perched awkwardly on the arm of the chair because her injuires make it too painful to sit properly she said: "You never think it is going to happen to you.

"I was just going about my daily business but everything I had planned to do that day has just been put on hold, along with everything ever since.

"It is such a good job that I had not picked up my granddaughter already, that would have been awful."

But Carole was not alone in the car that day. Sitting on the back seat was her three-year-old golden retriever Ollie.

When the crash happened the frightened dog jumped through a broken window and ran off.

When Carole's partner Mike Prutton arrived at the hospital they realised that Ollie was missing.

Carole said: "I was worried that he had gone down the road and got in among the cars. I did not want him to cause more problems on the roads.

"But luckily he had run away over the fields and was found in the middle of a field in Yoxford by gamekeeper Neil Bildestone who works for the Hallsworth Trust. Ollie was quivering and whimpering and covered in dirt."

Ollie had to be treated by the vet for injuries to his paw and the left side of is body was also injured.

The accident has made Carole realise how easily life can change in a split second when you are least expecting it.

She said: "You are going about your life and then all of a sudden it is all taken away from you until you are up and running again.

Carole said: "I don't know what I would do if it was not for my family helping me out."

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