York woman tells of escape from death
8:00am Tuesday 27th September 2011
A HAIRDRESSER has spoken of the terrifying moment when she and her mother escaped death by inches in a horrifying road smash.
Gail Ward-Nichol made a split second decision as she glimpsed a lorry toppling over onto her car at the Hopgrove roundabout, near York.
and by instantly throwing herself down and sideways across her 83-year-old mother, Freda Ward, she managed to save them both from being crushed in the impact.
instead, they were trapped in a 9 inch gap between their seats and the crumpled roof of Ms Ward-Nichol’s Peugeot 107, underneath the overturned lorry and its cargo of chickens.
“If I hadn’t been quick-thinking, I would probably have been decapitated,” said Ms Ward-Nichol, 52, who owns a hair salon and hairdressing training school in York.
“There was a loud bang and then I expected silence. instead, I heard the sound of 3,000 chickens in the lorry that were squawking in agony.”
She added: “I can still see the lorry coming towards me and still hear the thud as it hit me and hear the chickens, and can still smell the chickens, and see the blood dropping off my nose onto my mother’s blouse.
“A chicken which had fallen from a cage through my smashed window was flapping and dying by my feet.”
Once Ms Ward-Nichol had scrambled free, she saw chickens that had spilled from the lorry lying all around.
“You could not tell which ones were alive and which were dead,” she said.
Ms Ward-Nichol, from the Boroughbridge Road area of York, suffered only cuts and bruises in the smash eight days ago.
Police said they would be speaking to the driver of the lorry and a file would be submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service.
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