Family search for ‘good Samaritan’ who rescued 18-year-old from flipped car

11:00 13 February 2013

Shelby Johnson was lucky to be relatively unhurt after her car flipped out of control in flood water.

Shelby Johnson was lucky to be relatively unhurt after her car flipped out of control in flood water.


College student Shelby Johnson was trapped in the car which had span out on control in flood water.

A MOTHER is searching for a good Samaritan who came to her daughter’s aid when her car span out of control and flipped over in flood water.

Petroc student Shelby Johnson has described the terrifying crash that happened as she was driving home from work in Torrington towards Bideford along the A386 at around 11.30pm on Tuesday, January 29.

It was dark and pouring with rain, and although driving cautiously, the 18-year-old said she didn’t see the water across the road until it was too late.

“The road was flooded from one side to the other and before I knew it the car aquaplaned the moment I hit the water,” said Shelby.

“I tried to keep control by holding the wheel steady but the car hit the bank on the side of the road, span around and then flipped onto its side.

“As soon as I felt the car lift off I closed my eyes and hoped for the best.”

Trapped in the car, which was now on the opposite side of the road, Shelby scrambled to find her phone and call 999.

“The car was lying on the driver’s side and I couldn’t get the passenger door open because it was too heavy; it kept falling back down again,” she said.

“I saw what I thought was smoke coming out of the bonnet – which I later found out was luckily just steam from the water hitting the engine – and realised I was trapped and that’s when I began to panic.

“The lights had blown out in my car and it was so dark I knew an oncoming car might not see me, so I stood with my foot on the horn.”

She managed to find her phone and call the emergency services, but as she did a woman in a pink Ford Fiesta pulled over.

The lady rushed to Shelby’s aid, pulling open the passenger door and helping her out of the car, waiting with her until the ambulance arrived some minutes later.

While they waited another driver stopped who happened to be an off duty paramedic.

Shelby said: “He checked me over and apart from some pain in my shoulder, which he said was whiplash, I was fine.

“When the police arrived they told me I was extremely lucky and it could have been a lot worse; they couldn’t believe I didn’t even have any cuts or bruises.”

Shelby’s mum and sister, Marguerite and Courtney, arrived at the scene when they heard the news, but Mrs Johnson said she never had the opportunity to thank the mystery woman who helped her daughter.

She said: “She didn’t have to stop; some people would have driven right past.

“I didn’t realise until Shelby told me afterwards how she had helped her, and I really wish I could have had the opportunity to thank her.

“She was a very lucky girl, and I really feel someone was watching over her that night.”

Mrs Johnson said if anyone knows who the woman was, or if she reads this story, she would love them to contact the Gazette.

She said: “I would just like to thank her for stopping and for everything she did, it would mean a lot to us.”

If you are the mystery woman in the pink Ford Fiesta, or know who she might be, contact our reporter Sarah Howells on 01271 341658 or


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