Sidmouth driver avoids 'big drop' into Temple Street

PUBLISHED: 16:29 30 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:59 02 November 2015

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Archant

A pensioner had a lucky escape after accidently reversing his car through a hedge - stopping inches from a 'big drop' into the road - because he was wearing the wrong shoes.

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Howard Royston’s Rover Estate took an unattached trailer with it when his foot slipped onto the accelerator instead of the brake as he backed-up the vehicle on his driveway off Elysian Fields.

He blamed the accident, which left one wheel of his car overhanging the pavement in Temple Street, on the fact that he was wearing shoes that were too big for him.

Howard, 79, praised ‘first class’ police and firefighters who came to his aid on Tuesday evening.

Rescue crews winched the car and trailer back onto the driveway.

Howard said: “I was wearing an old pair of shoes - they were quite loose on my feet and bigger than my shoes that I have now. I knew there was a big drop there, fortunately my trailer was in the way.

“I have written a letter to the fire service - they were brilliant.”

Howard left his car’s lights on to alert passers-by below and climbed out of the passenger-side door.

PCSO Steve Blanchford-Cox was returning to Sidmouth Police Station when he spotted the lights shining from the hedge. He closed the road while a crew from Sidmouth Fire Station was called to assess the situation.

PCSO Blanchford-Cox said: “I saw these lights and I thought ‘how did he get up there?’.

“He slipped off the break and reversed into the trailer, which wasn’t attached, and pushed himself and the trailer through the hedge. He said he was wearing the wrong shoes. He was supported by three wheels, which is normally a good sign. It could have been a different story.”

Allan Kay, of Sidmouth’s fire service, said: “You never know what you are going to get with a road traffic collision, but we were looking for the car on the road and thinking ‘where is it?’. The police were already there, had cordoned it off and pointed up into the hedge.”

He added that the car was not in danger of falling, despite one of the rear wheels overhanging the pavement.

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