THE Actions of a local passer-by have been highly praised, after she helped one Brechin family escape from their vehicle after it had struck black ice on the B966 Brechin to Edzell road last week.
Despite the ordeal 75-year-old great grandmother Marion Crawford, who is registered blind, said there was no panic among the young family in the aftermath of the accident just outside Brechin on Wednesday night.
However, the accident left the Armstrong family’s great-grandmother trapped in the car and hanging upside down for over an hour before members of Tayside Fire and Rescue were able to free her.
Thankfully, they all escaped relatively unscathed with just bumps and bruises. The car was extensively damaged however and is thought to be a write-off.
Mrs Crawford praised the cool head of her 11-year-old great-grand-daughter Jennifer, who helped her 13-month-old sister Amberleigh and nine-year-old disabled brother, Andrew.
She said the family would like to publicly thank a local woman from Edzell and other passers-by who came to their aid when their green Toyota overturned on the B966 road to Edzell around 6.30pm.
The family were returning home from a trip to Alford when the accident happened. Mrs Crawford’s grand-daughter Audrey (30), mother of the three children in the car, was driving at the time.
“The fog came down and we hit black ice,” said Mrs Crawford. “We skidded into a wall and the car spun round and went over with us in it. It was like slow motion.”
Mrs Crawford hit her head off the roof as the car rolled over and there was concern initially she might have a serious injury.
She hung upside down while firefighters cut out seats and manoeuvred her out of the vehicle on a spinal board.
She said the children didn’t panic but Audrey was upset until she was reassured the children were not seriously hurt.
“Everybody is okay apart from sore necks and bumps and bruises,” said Mrs Crawford, adding that her heroine of the potential crisis was young Jennifer.
“My little great-grand-daughter got out her phone and flipped it open to use the light and put it down to see where Amberleigh was trapped in her baby chair.
“Audrey (who was temporarily trapped in the car) shouted to passers-by to open the boot and Jennifer got Amberleigh and handed her out to the people at the back of the car and then released her brother.”
Andrew, who has physical disabilities, has only recently undergone major surgery to have his hip reconstructed.
But his great-grandmother said he was none the worse for the experience and went off to school happily the next morning.
His mother was helped out of the car and his great-grandmother had a long wait as firefighters extricated her safely.
“I had a good laugh with the policemen and the firefighters,” said Mrs Crawford. “It was about an hour and 10 minutes I was upside down and I was beginning to get sore before they got me out, but as long as they were telling me the kids were okay, I was fine.”
She was bursting with pride after her great-grandchildren, who live in Witchden Road, were praised by the mystery woman from Edzell.
“She was absolutely fantastic and told me the children were so well behaved and polite. She said I should be proud of them and particularly Jennifer, who was making sure the other two were okay.
“We would just like to thank the lady from Edzell. We don’t know her name but we’d really like to thank her and the others who came to help.”