Hero pulls OAP from car trapped in icy ditch

Terry Stupple, who used a car jack to break a window and rescue a woman from her overturned car in a dyke.
Terry Stupple, who used a car jack to break a window and rescue a woman from her overturned car in a dyke.

A brave dad has been hailed a hero after he jumped into freezing water to pull a trapped woman free from her car that had overturned in a dyke.

Terry Stupple spotted the car – with its engine still running and smoke billowing out – submerged in the dyke as he drove along Beggars Bush Lane towards his home in Weston on Thursday.

On hearing the woman’s desperate cries for help, and without a thought for his own safety, Mr Stupple (57) leapt into action to rescue the pensioner who was struggling to keep her head out of the water.

After warning a small crowd of onlookers to stand back, he used the jack from his car to smash the back window – cutting his hand – and wriggled his way to where the terrified driver had her head trapped between the headrest and windscreen.

He said: “I have had some first aid training in the past, so I did check with her that she didn’t have any soreness in her neck and that she could feel her legs because I was worried about spinal injuries.

“She said she wasn’t hurt anywhere apart from her elbow, or I wouldn’t have moved her, but I was worried about the car exploding.

“I managed to move the seat back to free her and then told her to hold onto my belt as we wriggled out of the back window.”

Mr Stupple said the “battered and bruised” woman, who is believed to be 64 and from Pinchbeck, was then taken to Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

Speaking from his home in Delgate Avenue, Weston, on Friday, Mr Stupples added: “This sort of thing is just what I do. If I see someone in need I just want to help. I just did what anyone would do.

“I saw the smoke pouring from the car, which was upside down in the water, and I heard the woman calling for help, saying she was in the water and couldn’t get out, and I didn’t even think about it.

“I cut my hand smashing the back window and then I saw a wheelchair, so my first thought was that the lady was disabled and it would be harder to get her out.

“Fortunately it wasn’t hers, and I was able to get into the front of the car and switch the ignition off, before freeing her and getting her out.”

But his daughter Samantha believes her dad is one in a million, always going above and beyond to help strangers and never giving a second thought to his own safety.

She said: “I am proud to call myself his daughter.

“He has a heart condition, which leads to all sorts of health problems, and he is a full-time carer for my mum and nan, but he always goes to the rescue of anyone who needs help.

“Only recently he helped someone in Sainsbury’s who was having a stroke and he even leapt on a car being driven by someone trying to get away from Morrison’s after using a fake credit card and ended up in hospital for his trouble.

“He is always putting others first and that’s very rare because it’s not every day that someone will go out of their way to help someone else.

“For a 57-year-old man with so many illnesses to put his life on the line for a stranger, I just think he’s amazing.”