Volunteers rescue stranded family


A woman who broke down on a busy road in the dark with her three children has thanked a Hailsham charity for its assistance.

Sarah Cassidy was driving home with her three daughters when her Hyundai car suddenly stopped.

Her vehicle lost all power and electrics, and left her stranded on the A22 near Hailsham with no lights to alert other motorists that she and her young girls were stopped at the side of the road.

Fortunately, three responders from local charity 4x4 Assist were nearby and heard about the breakdown. Knowing the notorious stretch of road well, they attended the scene as quickly as possible to help out.

Paul Gibson, from 4x4 Assist, was first on the scene. He said: “When I arrived on-scene, I could see Sarah’s car was extremely vulnerable and the family were at high risk of being struck by passing vehicles, as her car had no lights on and no power.”

He added: “I protected her vehicle and family with my 4x4 and when another of our responders arrived, we transferred her three daughters into our Land Rover Discovery, to make them safe and keep them off the carriageway - it was a big relief to get the family safe and secure.”

When police arrived shortly afterwards, the responders were then able to tow the stranded vehicle off the main road and transfer the family to a relative’s car to get them safely home.

Sarah told 4x4 Assist: “You guys were amazing and I cannot thank you enough for keeping us safe.

“It was such a scary situation but you kept me calm and my girls safe.”

4×4 Assist is a charity which was formed after a group of local volunteers organised the distribution of water during a mains burst in Hailsham in May 2015.

When the town found itself without supplies, 4×4 drivers escorted HGV’s carrying water supplies into Hailsham Town Centre and then spent 48 hours driving bottled water to the vulnerable, sick and to local care homes.

Since then, 4×4 Assist has been recruiting local volunteers with off-road vehicles to become trained drivers to help medical staff, local authorities and communities in adverse weather conditions, such as floods and snow.

For information on the work of 4×4 Assist or to join, visit www.4x4assist.co.uk.

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