Car flips into river

PUBLISHED: 10:57 16 January 2008 | UPDATED: 22:09 26 October 2009

The Judds’ car on its roof in the Lea, as a salvage truck prepares to haul it out of the river

The Judds' car on its roof in the Lea, as a salvage truck prepares to haul it out of the river

By Simon Wesson THREE heroes jumped into icy cold water to rescue an elderly couple whose car flipped over into a river. Vincent Judd told the WHT he and his wife Betty are lucky to be alive after their red Fiat Panda skidded on ice and ended in the Riv

By Simon Wesson

THREE heroes jumped into icy cold water to rescue an elderly couple whose car flipped over into a river.

Vincent Judd told the WHT he and his wife Betty are "lucky to be alive" after their red Fiat Panda skidded on ice and ended in the River Lea at Lemsford.

The 63-year-old said: "I don't want to get any closer to the Grim Reaper than that!

"We are very lucky to be alive, on any other day it could have been different.

"Fortunately the river wasn't too deep and we were both wearing our seatbelts, which the police believe saved our lives because we were strapped in."

Vincent and Betty live just off the Kimpton Road and are to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this year.

Vincent, a semi-retired accountant, added: "We are both very grateful to the people who jumped in to help us out and to the police who were on the scene very quickly.

"We were on our way to church when it happened. We skidded round on a patch of ice, I managed to recover it but then we hit another bit of ice and hit the kerb, it was at this point when the car flipped.

"I was only doing about 20mph, but the roads had not been gritted, which is really dangerous on an icy morning.

"It's not like I am a reckless driver, I have no need to rush.

"The most scary point was trying to find the door handles while you're upside down, otherwise I think it happened so quickly that we didn't really have enough time to be scared, or even notice how cold the water was.

"We must have been in the water for about a minute, but amazingly

we were both pretty much uninjured."

After the incident, which happened at about 10.30am on Sunday January 6, the car was pulled from the water a write-off.

But Vincent said he was just glad to be alive to tell the tale to his three daughters and 12 grandchildren.

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