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'He's my hero': Dave from Asda Bodmin helps colleague Rachel after car overturns in fog

March 5, 2021 11:13am
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When home shopping driver Dave Shearer arrived on the scene of a car crash in thick fog on a country road in Cornwall he didn't think twice before dashing to help – pulling the driver through the window of her overturned Mini and looking after her until emergency services arrived.

Dave Shearer from Asda Bodmin

To Dave's shock, the driver was Rachel Curtis-Hatton, a colleague of his from our Bodmin store.

She couldn't get out of her car and, after calling the police, was desperately honking her horn to warn motorists in case they couldn't see her.

Rachel, who's 52 and has worked for Asda for 26 years, said: "Dave is definitely my hero. I can't thank him enough for what he did. He said it was nothing, but it was to me."

She had just finished her shift and was driving home to Camelford when the accident happened.

Rachel said: "It was a very, very foggy night. I was only a few minutes from home and I hit a wall of fog and clipped the front passenger side wheel on a bank and it turned on its side and slid down the road. My little red Mini saved my life, but it's now a write-off.

Rachel Curtis-Hatton from Asda Bodmin

"I can't remember much about it at all. I can remember the smell of burning paint as the car scraped along the road, but I can't even remember taking my seatbelt off – though I must have done.

"I called the police as I couldn't get out of the car. The doors of a Mini are really heavy so I couldn't push them open, but I did manage to open the electric window on the passenger side.

"I waved out of the window at a passing van but it just went straight past and I just thought 'That's it!' I was on a bend, in the fog and I thought if someone comes round that bend and hits me I'm a goner."

Rachel, who has a 27-year-old son Nathan, began to honk her horn in desperation and thankfully a few motorists saw her car and stopped, including Dave.

She said: "When I saw Dave I grabbed his hand and just burst into tears. It was so nice to see a familiar face and know that I wasn't alone.

"Dave and another man took an arm each and they literally dragged me out of the passenger window. Dave stayed with me and kept me calm until paramedics and fire crews arrived.

"Dave is lovely. He is always smiling and he always has a twinkle in his eye. It was all quite surreal that he was there. It was just a fluke that he was driving home at the same time as me."

A very modest Dave, who's 64 and has worked at the store for four years, says he just did what anyone would have done.

He said "I'd finished work and I was on my way home to Tintagel and I came round a corner, which is a very tight bend, and I saw a car on its side in the middle of the road. I didn't know it was Rachel at the time.

"It was quite foggy and I think she must have misjudged the bend in the fog. The car had touched the corner, gone up a bank and then rolled over. I stopped and put my lights on it and I got to the car just as Rachel's head popped up. She undid her seatbelt and I made sure she was okay and helped her out of the car.

"She was quite relieved as she knew my face and she grabbed my hand and started crying. I made sure she was alright and stayed with her and calmed her down."

Rachel was seen by paramedics, but she didn't need hospital treatment and was taken home by her partner.

Richard Stoneman, the store's e-commerce trading manager, said: "We are proud of Dave for stopping and supporting Rachel in her time of need. We are not surprised with him helping others as this is a trait we often see from him."

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