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Rescuer relives own memories of being trapped in upturned van
A SKIP lorry driver has told how his own experiences trapped in an upturned vehicle helped him to save two pensioners from a partially submerged car.
Grabbing a tyre wrench from his lorry, he raced to the rescue, smashed in the car’s back window and climbed into the interior which was partly under water to help the women, aged 81 and 87, inside.
“I’ve been in a similar situation myself,” he said. “I wasn’t worried for myself. The only thing that really worried me was the vehicle catching fire and that I should get these people out.”
With help from another man, he managed to get the 87-year-old passenger out and passed her up to a third man who assisted her out of the dyke. Mr Barker got the driver’s door open so the driver could be helped out.
“I was wet and muddy and pleased that the two ladies were safe,” he said.
Having assured himself that neither woman needed first aid and heard that the emergency services were on the way, Mr Barker, of Hudson Crescent, Water Lane, Clifton , continued on his journey. He said he had regular first-aid and survival training during his years working offshore in the oil and gas industry.
Mr Barker was trapped in an upturned van near Easingwold in wintry conditions 35 years ago.
Soon after the vehicle was in the water, he heard a woman’s voice saying “get out of the way” before she threw a wheel brace through one of its window.
Since then, he has always carried something in his vehicle for use in a similar situation.
“I was lucky that someone saw what happened. It was a big dyke and it was full of water,” he said of the incident 35 years ago.
The two women, from Wakefield, are believed to have escaped serious injuries in the crash just before noon on Monday.