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Motorists rescue stuck driver | Otago Daily Times News Online

A Canterbury motorist was on his way to work when he felt a sense of dread as he ran towards a car that had just crashed into a ditch.

Cam Downs feared the driver was seriously injured, but quickly discovered the man, believed to be in his 20s, was uninjured.

The driver said, “I don’t know what just happened,” as Downs helped him out of the car.

Downs said it was a relief to find he was fine after the accident at around 8.15am last week between Halswell and Lincoln.

“I was completely in panic mode, thinking, ‘I have to get this person out of here,'” Downs said.

Downs, who lives in Lincoln, was driving on Ellesmere Rd to work, as an estate agent in the town, with his three-year-old daughter, whom he was taking to kindergarten.

He heard a loud “booming sound”, then saw a “huge puff” of dirt ahead of him at the intersection with Trices Rd.

A white vehicle which had also stopped, just in front of him, had also been involved in the accident. The driver of this car was also shaken.

Downs approached the car in the ditch and could see the driver upside down and trying to open the driver’s door, which appeared to be stuck.

He ran to his car to get something to break the window and found an umbrella.

When he returned to the car, umbrella in hand, the driver motioned for him to try to open the door from the outside, which he did.

Balancing on the muddy bank of the ditch, he held the door open with one arm and used the other to grab the driver and help him out.

Soon more than 10 passing motorists had stopped, including a nurse. As they witnessed the scene, it appeared that both drivers were fine and uninjured.

“You never want to see something like this, but it was pretty good to be able to help out,” Downs said.