Sidmouth man, 77, trapped hours after crash

PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 May 2010 | UPDATED: 14:00 18 June 2010

AN elderly man from Sidmouth was rescued from the wreckage of his overturned car 12 hours after he went missing last weekend.

AN elderly man from Sidmouth was rescued from the wreckage of his overturned car 12 hours after he went missing last weekend.

Two horse riders found 77-year-old Charles Raymond Day trapped inside the silver Mazda in a secluded woodland area in Newton St Cyres, near Exeter on Saturday.

Mr Day, known to his friends and family as Raymond, was reported missing in the early hours and had last been seen at around 11pm on Friday.

Sergeant Richard Poole, of Honiton Police, was involved in the search and rescue.

He said: "When we found the man he had been trapped there for a minimum of five hours. The car was on its roof in an extremely isolated woodland track.

"The roof was crushed, he was trapped by his legs and he had significant leg injuries."

Police carried out a full-scale search after Mr Day, described as vulnerable, vanished from his Sidmouth home.

He was spotted driving along the A30 to Exeter at around 4.30am on Saturday, said police, but that was the last sighting.

Dog and traffic units, along with the police helicopter were tasked to scour the area and alerts were sent to forces as far away as Thames Valley after it was found Mr Day had taken his car.

The horse riders called police at around 11am after they found Mr Day pinned in the vehicle, which is believed to have overturned when it hit an earth bank.

The location was so rural that emergency services found it difficult to negotiate the narrow dirt track and one fire engine got stuck.

Sergeant Poole added: "The man was two miles from where the road ended.

"The fire brigade did an absolutely fantastic job. It was really difficult to access and they had to carry heavy cutting equipment for quite a distance."

He said that although Mr Day was in a "distressed" state he was "in a good condition" considering the length of time he had been trapped.

It took three crews an hour to free the man from the debris and he was rushed to Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital by police helicopter.

Sergeant Poole praised all those involved in the rescue and said Mr Day is making a good recovery.


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