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Woman thanks hero after flood nightmare

jpco-15-1-14 Paula Stuart got stuck in her car after going down a muddy ravine and was helped by Ben (Pic by Jon Rigby)

jpco-15-1-14 Paula Stuart got stuck in her car after going down a muddy ravine and was helped by Ben (Pic by Jon Rigby)

A disabled woman who spent four hours climbing up a muddy ravine has thanked her “knight in shining armour”.

Paula Stuart, 50, of Pound Hill, narrowly avoided sliding into a river in her car at the bottom of Parish Lane, Pease Pottage, on December 30.

Paula thought the no-through road was being used as a diversion into town because of the Christmas floods.

She said: “It was very traumatic.

“All of a sudden the road gave way while I was considering my options.”

She stopped about two feet from the edge of a river at the bottom of the lane.

Paula, who has breathing difficulties and uses a walking aid, did not have a mobile on her at the time.

The three or four cars that were behind her car when it started sliding failed to stop and help.

She tried to get help from three houses but received no assistance.

She said: “It was very dark and I was trying not to panic.

She cried as she tried to make her way to safety.

“I cannot get up without something to lean on because my left knee doesn’t work very well.

I was screaming for help all the way. ”

George Thompson, 24, of Northgate,rescued her trapped dog in the rain and had her car ready for her the next day.

George, a mobile mechanic, was working late at his garage when he met Paula.

He said he paid a farmer to pull Paula’s car out the next day because the road was still too slippery for lorries.

George said: “For her to walk that far, I wouldn’t do that to my worst enemy.

“It took me half a day to get it out, otherwise I would’ve done it as a goodwill gesture.

“She wasn’t going to not let me charge her anyway.”

Paula said she is taking George and his wife out to dinner.

She said: “I’m recommending him for citizen of the year because I think he’s an amazing chap.”

She added: “He restored my faith in human nature.

“He had nothing to gain but he just seemed to want to help someone who needed help.

“I cannot thank him enough. He got my dog out on the night with no thought of his own safety.”

 

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