A MUM has shared how she saved her family from a fatal crash by forcing them to get out of their broken-down car – minutes before it was hit by a lorry.
The family’s blue Suzuki Jimny can be seen squashed and almost unrecognisable on the side of the road – after it had been shunted from behind by a fully loaded transporter.
Ashley Falvey, from Stallingborough, North East Lincolnshire, moved her family to a grass verge beside a busy motorway after her mum’s car slowed down to a stop on Tuesday.
After seeing traffic come within inches of their vehicle, the 32-year-old quickly got her family out of the car and onto a grass verge at the side of the A180 near Grimsby.
The mum-of-one said her family were “traumatised” and watched in horror the lorry hit their car and sent it “flying” towards them.
Two cars were thrown off the truck, leaving the driver stuck. He later had to be taken to hospital after suffering minor injuries, but is said to be recovering.
Humberside Police said the collision could have been “so much worse” if Ashley hadn’t moved her family to the top of the grass verge to safety.
A fully loaded car carrier transporter can weigh up to 4.4 tonnes, while in comparison the family’s Suzuki Jimny weighs only 1.42 tonnes – and was easily crushed by the lorry’s force.
Ashley was on a family day out with her daughter Angel, 8, brother Harvey, 11, and mum Tina, 50, when the terrifying incident occurred.
In a lengthy post on Facebook, Ashley shared dramatic photographs of the accident, writing: “I experienced one of the most traumatic days of my life to date.
“We were going on a family day out when my mum’s car started to go funny on the motorway.
“It started to slow down until it eventually came to a stop. Straight away, I knew we were in a very dangerous situation. I said to my mum – we need to get out of this car now.
“We climbed the grass verge and called the AA and the police to inform them how dangerous the cars’ position was.”
However, despite taking precautions – moments later a terrifying collision occurred.
Ashley continued: “A car transporter went into my mum’s car sending it flying in the air and towards us.
“The transporter swerved, and crashed into the verge. Two cars came flying off and he was trapped.
“Had we not got out of the car or even been stood near it – I don’t think we would be here today.
“The police said many people wait in their cars and I wanted to post this to just tell everyone to always get out of the car and well away – a life is worth
more than any bit of metal.”
Ashley’ post has been shared over 2,100 times since she uploaded it on Wednesday.
Ashley also shared a photograph of mum Tina’s car crushed beyond recognition at the bottom of the verge.
The Jimny’s entire back has been crushed in – and it is clear that anyone inside would have been killed by the sheer force of the collision.
Other photograph’s show the fully-loaded transporter surrounded by fire crews as they dealt with the aftermath.
The road itself had to be closed for 10 hours while emergency services staged a clean-up.
Highways England also shared sobering photographs of the carange left by the car transporters smash.
Ashley’s mum’s blue Suzuki Jimny can been crumpled, with the right side door bent out of shape and the roof has visibly fallen in from the force of the collision.
Social media users were quick to thank Ashley for raising awareness despite how traumatising this incident was for her.
Sarah Custus wrote: “Glad your family is all ok and safe. Like you say metal is replaceable but a life isn’t. Ignore the judgemental people you will always get them.”
Lyndsay Howden said: “You did amazing and saved your family’s life, as this could have been a very different story. I am a blue light worker and your heart always sinks.”
Sean Needham commented: “Quick thinking and common sense saved a family’s lives. Glad to see such tragic circumstances turned into a happy ending. Grateful all involved are ok. Thanks for sharing to get the message across.”
Paul Reason added: “Glad people are listening. Telling this to people for years it should be made common knowledge and part of learning to drive. Basic training.”
Speaking on Monday, Ashley said: “The more people this reaches about how dangerous it can be to stay in a broken down car the better.
“I was sat in the back with my daughter and I could see how close the lorries were coming near to the car and I said that we needed to get out of the car straight away.”
Chief Inspector Mark Bishop, of Humberside Police’s Special Operation Unit, said: “This collision could have been so much worse if the driver had not got out of the vehicle and waited safety at the top of the grass verge.
“The driver of the car-transporter suffered minor injuries and will make a full recovery.
“It is so important to remember the advice to get out and away from your vehicle if you breakdown.”