The driver of a car which ended up on its roof following a collision leaving her hanging upside down from her seatbelt wants measures to be introduced to make the road safer.
Molly Francis from Penponds near Camborne, says she is extremely lucky not to have been seriously injured or killed following the accident on Antron Hill, Mabe Burnthouse on the afternoon of September 13.
Although she says she’s aware of how lucky she was, it was an “horrendous” experience and she is still suffering with whiplash and emotional aftermath.
The 49-year-old says this and the loss of earnings from not being able to work as an independent teacher and tutor have left her in financial difficulties as well as struggling to process the incident itself.
She says following this terrible experience, comments left on social media under reports of the accident had caused her more distress.
“Comments claiming that the situation was probably caused by an ‘incompetent driver’ are unfair,” she said. “I was driving well within the speed limit and the lady whose car collided with mine was trying to navigate a T junction with very poor visibility.
She added: “People have tendency to jump to conclusions which in life is something I try not to do. People can be overly judgemental. I read something in the comments on social media ‘Oh look another incompetent driver’ from some ‘keyboard warriors’ and I found that very hurtful. These things happen.”
She is collecting dashcam footage of the incident in the hope that she will be able to use it to make a positive difference and hopefully stop this happening to anyone else.
She says the accident happened as she was driving up Antron Hill heading for Longdowns and as she passed the junction she was aware of a car waiting to come out, the next thing she knew she had been hit and her car was rolling, ending up in the hedge.
“I was aware what was happening but it was completely out of my control,” she said. “I couldn’t have done anything to have stopped it happening.”
The couple’s car had collided with her rear passenger door and the impact sent her car out into the road into the hedge leaving Molly hanging upside down.
“Good job I was wearing a seatbelt, it saved my life,” she told the Packet. “When the car came to a stop a lovely person came to the driver’s door and opened it and asked: ‘Are you OK?’.
“I said I needed to get out of the car but I can’t because I’m hanging by my seatbelt which I couldn’t undo because I would fall. They leaned across and helped me out of the car.”
She suffered bruising and bad whiplash in the accident and very sore shoulders due to hanging from the seatbelt but says she is lucky to be alive going on the state of the car. She said people at the scene said they could not believe she got out the car which was a complete write off.
“The passenger door was ripped completely off and ended up in the grill of the other car,” she said.
“They were absolutely fine though, but up to then they had been having a lovely holiday. They edged out of the junction and hit my car, flipping it over.”
She said people living in the two cottages nearby have been trying for years to get something done about visibility at the junction and get it made safer before just such an accident happened.
By coincidence Molly’s partner’s brother lives in one of those cottages. They have also been campaigning for a speed limit change to lower it from 60.
“I wasn’t doing anywhere near the speed limit of 60,” said Molly “I was doing much less, mind you had I been doing more it may have been a different story, I may have missed it or it may have been much worse.”
Up until September 15 a diversion has been in place around the reservoir while work to widen the road at the Old Inn took place. However many people living in Budock said diverting the traffic along a narrow road was dangerous and they feared just such an accident would happen. They also said they never actually saw any work taking place so it had all been pointless.
Molly says she is now trying to turn something horrible into something positive and has been in contact with the council to try and get some changes made, even if it is just a mirror, although she hasn’t heard back yet.
She wants anything that will improve safety or visibility on that junction.
Cornwall Council have been asked for a response.