Heroic Abbie helps her Heybridge colleague Sean after car crash on country road

July 16, 2021

When 19-year-old Abbie Gibbons from our Heybridge store arrived at the scene of a nasty car crash on her way home from work she was shocked to discover the injured driver was her colleague Sean Royle – and he says she saved his life by helping to drag him out of his overturned car and looking after him until emergency services arrived.

Sean suffered two rib fractures, a punctured lung, a fractured shoulder, facial fractures and a cut to his head in the crash.

He said: "I really can't thank Abbie enough – she saved my life. I dread to think what would have happened if she hadn't been there. I was very, very lucky. The police said it was one of the worst car crash wrecks they'd seen."

Both colleagues had just finished their shifts and were travelling in separate cars on Maypole Road near Maldon in Essex when Sean suddenly lost control of his Ford Mondeo after hitting a bump in the road. Minutes later Abbie came around a bend and was shocked to find Sean's crashed vehicle.

She phoned the emergency services before – with the help of other motorists including Craig Jones – they managed to undo Sean's seatbelt and drag him out through the smashed driver's window before laying him on some grass.

Abbie said: "It was pretty scary, but it wasn't about me – it was all about Sean. I didn't really have time to think, I just got on with things. I can't really remember much of it. It's only when you look back and think 'Oh my God, how on earth did I do that?'"

Abbie and the other motorists on the scene covered Sean in some coats and stayed with him, comforting and reassuring him until the paramedics arrived.

She said: "He was conscious and I think it knew it was me, but he was in shock. He had quite a lot of injuries, but he was very, very lucky.

"I'm just glad he's recovering. Sean's lovely. He knows everyone and you can't not like him. He always puts everyone before himself."

Twenty-eight-year-old Sean, who's recovering at home, has nominated Abbie for an Asda service superstar award for what she did that night.

Sean, who has worked as an ambient section leader at the store for a year, said: "I can't remember much of the accident at all. I believe I hit a bump in the road and lost control and then got blinded by the lights of a car coming towards me and I panicked a bit. My car then hit a ditch, overturned and then hit the only tree in the area about 500m away!

"It was all a bit surreal. I remember seeing people in high-vis jackets around me and then Abbie from work saying 'It's going to be alright'.

"In what I can only imagine to be an horrific situation to be thrust into, I’m told that Abbie didn't panic but kept composed even with countless emergency services and the air ambulance in attendance.

"She stayed on the scene for over an hour to liaise with the responders and my family. The next day she even turned up for her overtime shift as she didn’t want to let the team down, no doubt having had very little sleep!

"She's since gone further out of her way, picking up extra shifts at the store and even making multiple trips to the hospital to check on me, despite the toll an ordeal like this would put on an ordinary person.

"However, Abbie is no ordinary person and is constantly putting other people's needs before her own and it is a true pleasure to be part of the same team as this absolute superstar! She's a prime example of not only an exemplary colleague, but an all-round incredible person."

Store manager Matt Cork says everyone at the store is proud of Abbie's actions.

He said: "It was really brilliant what she did. She dealt with it really well and was so calm and collected about it.

"She's such a great, outgoing, fun colleague who gets on with everyone, She is a true asset to our store."

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