Driver airlifted to hospital after ‘tricky’ rescue

A WOMAN was airlifted to hospital following a dramatic rescue on the A259 Marsh Road at Hooe on Saturday morning.

Emergency services raced to the scene following reports that the woman’s silver Vauxhall Zafira car had collided with a bridge parapet and plunged down an embankment before coming to a halt just feet from a stream.

The crash occurred at Sewer Bridge, close to the junction with the B2095 and the Lamb Inn, just after 9.20am.

The woman suffered serious injuries and was trapped in her vehicle, which had landed on its side.

Traffic in both directions was brought to a halt as emergency services set about rescuing her.

Fire crews from Bexhill, Pevensey and Hastings, plus an aerial ladder platform (ALP) from Eastbourne and specialist units from Battle and Crowborough all attended.

The vehicle was stabilised before the ALP was used to lift the woman to safety.

Fire crews and paramedics then assisted the woman into the Kent, Sussex and Surrey Air Ambulance which had landed in the nearby Lamb Inn car park.

She was flown to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

The woman, who is 43-years-old and from Bexhill, was said to be suffering from serious pelvic injuries.

Incident Commander Greg Lee, from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, praised the work of both the fire crews and the other emergency services who he said “pulled together fantastically.”

Mr Lee said: “This was a very tricky extrication where crews worked extremely hard at the scene, in difficult conditions, to remove the roof of the car, which fell on its side.

“The team did a great job cutting her free, with the help of the Technical Rescue Unit, whilst working very closely with the paramedics.

“Because the vehicle was on its side the potential to rock around was considerable and the TRU team successfully stabilised the vehicle.

“Eastbourne’s ALP was then used as a rescue platform and the cage lowered down and the stretcher placed inside it.

“The casualty was then lifted to road level where she was transferred to the Air Ambulance.

“The ALP is a wonderful piece of equipment which can be used above and below ground level.

“Both Sussex Police, South East Coast Ambulance Service and Air Ambulance were fantastic and everyone worked together to bring this to a successful conclusion.”

Initial reports suggested that as many as four cars had been involved in the incident.

But Sussex Police later confirmed that only one vehicle was involved.

It is not yet clear what caused the accident.

No other injuries were reported.

Any witnesses to the accident or anyone with any information is asked to call Sussex Police on 101.