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Accident blackspot survivor in Cornwall road safety warning

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 13, 2013

  • Dannie Phillips with her mum Loraine. BOTL20130208C-001_C

  • Accident blackspot survivor in Cornwall road safety warning

  • NARROW ESCAPE: Dannie Phillips with her mum Loraine. Dannie blacked out in the crash and almost drowned in floodwater.

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A TEENAGER whose life was saved by heroic passing motorists has urged council bosses to make improvements to an accident blackspot where she nearly died on Christmas Eve.

Unconscious and left trapped in a car that was sinking into floodwater, carer Dannie Phillips' life was saved only after passers-by spotted her wrecked car on the side of Par Moor Road.

The 19-year-old's car had aquaplaned on the flooded road and then flipped as she swerved to avoid an oncoming car.

It landed in more than three feet of water and began to sink into the quagmire as she lay unconscious at the wheel.

She said there was no doubt she would have died if it weren't for the kind-hearted and heroic deeds of passing drivers.

"I woke up after the car landed. The water was rushing in through the window and I couldn't keep my head above it," she said.

"I remember thinking, 'This is it now; if I panic I'm just going to use up more oxygen', and I blacked out again," she said.

Mike Tate, a passenger in the car she had narrowly avoided, rushed to the crash scene.

He said he and people from other nearby cars desperately tried to aid her, but the horn was blaring, it was pitch- black and they couldn't wrench the door open.

At that moment a trained paramedic appeared on the scene. Lizzie Wheatcroft had only popped out to collect her pizza order, because the shop wouldn't let her use her NHS discount over the phone.

She fearlessly crawled into the upside-down car, wrapped Miss Phillips' hair round her wrist and held her head above the filthy floodwater.

"She wasn't breathing. Someone shone a mobile phone light on her face and I saw she was blue. I honestly thought she was dead," said Mrs Wheatcroft, 45, from Tywardreath.

She told her husband to thump Miss Phillips' chest in an attempt to resuscitate her.

"All of a sudden she stared straight at me and I knew she was fine," she said. "I've never felt relief like it."

Meanwhile the team of good Samaritans held the car to stop it sinking further into the swamp.

The emergency services were soon on the scene and managed to extract Miss Phillips from the wreckage.

She was airlifted to Derriford Hospital where she had stitches but, miraculously, she had not broken a single bone.

Miss Phillips celebrated her 19th birthday on January 2, and it became a joint celebration of the fact that she is still alive.

She has decided to train as a nurse after the horrific incident and is hoping to start her course in September.

She is also now calling for more precautions to prevent similar incidents on Par Moor Road.

The accident happened close to the spot where 16-year-old Rosie Allen was killed in January 2010 when her moped collided with a car.

"I don't want this to happen to anyone else ever again," said Miss Phillips, from Trelowth, near Polgooth. "Par had been horrendous and they had weeks to put flood signs up."

Her family, and people involved in the incident, are calling for more preventative measures such as reflective bollards, lighting or signs.

"Darkness gives a false sense of security," said Mrs Wheatcroft. "To me, the most important thing is lighting on that road."

Since the incident Miss Phillips' mum Loraine Hoar, 43, has made it her mission to find, personally thank and reward every person who helped save her daughter's life on that night.

"If I could have picked a rescue team, I wouldn't have changed any of them. It was amazing how many people were there in those horrible conditions on Christmas Eve. All perfect strangers, they just jumped into the swamp, even in their finery. I call them my angels," she said. "It was the best Christmas present I've ever had – a miracle."

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8 comments

  • jimjams2011  |  February 13 2013, 10:57PM

    Stephanie what do you mean she was on the way to a 'client'? Why are you making your friend sound like a prostitute? what does she do?

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  • Kernow_83  |  February 13 2013, 12:40PM

    That road was in a terrible state leading up to Christmas, and should have been closed long before this accident happened

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  • stephanie1992  |  February 13 2013, 12:16PM

    Hi Josdave For your information the driver of the car Dannie Phllips is my best friend, shewas on her way to a client when the accident took place and was not even going that fast at all, she lost control of the car and tried to regrain control but very unfortunately wasnt able to, the authroties said themselves that due to the amount of water on the road and the current weather conditions that the road should of been closed hours before the accident happened, I am from St Austell and I know from experience how horrivle that road can be at times when it is heavily raining.. For you to say that she should of not been going as fast as she was is completely unneccesary as were you there at the time of the accident and do you know how fast she was going? I think it is very hypocritical for you to say that any sensible motorist should not be going that fast as to which it could cause a car to aquaplane, when really you know very little about the accident apart from what you have read in this report. Your comment may mean no harm but I think in this case you are making false judgments on how fast Dannie may have been going and also judging her because she is only 19. GOOD DAY!!

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  • dann-yellyy  |  February 13 2013, 12:11PM

    Hi there im the lady you are refering too. You were not there at my accident you do not know what it was like therefore you cannot judge:) you clearly have nothing better to do than slate this article, this article was published to make people realise how many accidents have happened on that road dur to flooding and being so dark, thosr people at my accident were so warm hearted and true geniune people and i wish more people were like that. People like you give the public a bad name! I pity you, i really do! I hope one day you will realise being negative gets you nowhere! Where as people like me keep my chin up have a smile on my face and want too get somewhete in life:) good day! Im going to keep smiling as im a decent person:) cheers now!

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  • stephanie1992  |  February 13 2013, 12:10PM

    Hi Josdave For your information the driver of the car Dannie Phllips is my best friend, shewas on her way to a client when the accident took place and was not even going that fast at all, she lost control of the car and tried to regrain control but very unfortunately wasnt able to, the authroties said themselves that due to the amount of water on the road and the current weather conditions that the road should of been closed hours before the accident happened, I am from St Austell and I know from experience how horrivle that road can be at times when it is heavily raining.. For you to say that she should of not been going as fast as she was is completely unneccesary as were you there at the time of the accident and do you know how fast she was going? I think it is very hypocritical for you to say that any sensible motorist should not be going that fast as to which it could cause a car to aquaplane, when really you know very little about the accident apart from what you have read in this report. Your comment may mean no harm but I think in this case you are making false judgments on how fast Dannie may have been going and also judging her because she is only 19. GOOD DAY!!

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  • beaa_happy  |  February 13 2013, 12:07PM

    Hi josdave, Darling Miss Phillips was driving at the speed of 35mph on a 40mph road. She did not see the swamp water and debris because there was NO lighting etc. A police officer stated that the road should have been closed around three hours before to prevent this accident from happening...but nothing was done! You obviously are a very opinionated individual but darling, so I am. Thank god, a caring, helpful, amazing individual didn't lose her life, because the world would be a very dark depressing place if everybody were like you. Have a nice day, Go careful!

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  • xamyamyamyx  |  February 13 2013, 11:53AM

    i aquaplaned into the back of a car and off duty police officer into the back of me. i was doing less than 30mph on 50mph road.

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  • josdave  |  February 13 2013, 9:26AM

    Any sensible motorist would not have been going fast enough to aquaplane and it's about time more people drove according to the weather conditions. When there is a lot5 of surface water reduce your speed it's only common sense.

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