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Sunday, October 18, 2009

 

Woman test-drives car over cliff

Elderly woman test-drives car over edge of cliff

An elderly woman has had a lucky escape after the disabled-adapted car she was test-driving plummeted over the edge of a 100-foot hillside in Highcliffe, Dorset.

 Telegraph UK

12:56PM BST 18 Oct 2009

Car driven over cliff: Elderly woman test-drives car over edge of cliff

The car toppled over the cliff, rolling down a steep slope and into a patch of gorse Photo: BNPS

The woman, who is in her 80s, pressed the accelerator instead of the brake and sped through a park bench, sailed through the air, and came to rest half-way down the slope on a cushion of gorse before emerging unscathed.

The woman, who has problems with her legs, had been

She was driving round the car park of the Cliffhanger Cafe, in Highcliffe, Dorset, when she tried to pull into a disabled bay facing out to sea.

But instead of coming to a stop, the car lunged forwards and toppled over the cliff, rolling down a steep slope and into a patch of gorse.

Martin Jeffreys, 63, from New Milton, Dorset, said: "It's miracle she wasn't hurt - the car literally flew through the air.

"I was just getting out of my car when I saw her pulling up in the disabled bay.

"But she hit the accelerator by accident and just went lurching forwards.

"The car went up a small hill in front of the cliff edge, took the wooden bench out and went straight over.

"The car actually took off, it was unbelievable.

"I thought it must have rolled over and I ran down to try and help. I was the first person on the scene.

"The car was smoking a bit but the lady was absolutely fine. It was extraordinary."

Sergeant Leo Glendon, from Dorset Police, said: "The lady, who is in her 80s, came down to the car park to practice driving her car, which had just been fitted with hand controls.

"She was trying to pull up in a parking space when she lost control of it. Instead of coming to a stop, she drove straight over the edge.

"The car knocked through a wooden park bench and rolled down the cliff. Fortunately there is a lot of gorse around to cushion the fall.

"When we arrived she had already been helped out of the car through the boot by passers-by.

"Incredibly she wasn't hurt at all. Her only injuries are a few scratches she got from brambles as she got out of the car.

"She was shaken, of course, has now been taken home to recover with a cup of tea."


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