Crash driver meets 999 operator

A woman who suffered memory loss in a car crash has met the police operator who talked to her for 40 minutes on her mobile phone until she was tracked and rescued.

NHS worker Lara Williams was driving at night on the A429 when she lost control of her Citroen C3, which careered down into a 15ft ditch.

The 39-year-old suffered multiple injuries and lost her memory after hitting her head on the steering wheel.

She called 999, but was unable to give the operators at Gloucestershire Police's control centre her location or recall any detail of the accident.

The mother-of-two told emergency services: "I've just had a car crash and I don't know where I am. I think I've come off a country lane and banged my head. I think I'm down a ditch.

"I don't know where I was driving to. I'm out in the sticks somewhere. My hazard lights have just come on."

Will East, the emergency operator who took the call, spoke to her and kept her calm while rescue workers traced the mobile phone's signals.

They narrowed down on an area about 4km in radius and were led to Ms Williams by her shouts for help.

She was found trapped in a tree-covered ditch between Northleach and Stow on the A429 in the Cotswolds. She suffered a broken hip, a fractured vertebrae and broken shoulder.

Ms Williams, of Tredworth, Gloucester, was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital where she remained for six weeks after the incident in September. She still cannot remember how she came to be there or where she was going.

Meeting Mr East at the control centre in Quedgeley, Gloucester, Ms Williams spoke about how much she owed the 22-year-old.

She said: "He's the only thing that kept me with it really. His voice kept me calm and kept me from panicking.

"I was nervous about meeting him, but he was very friendly and very good humoured."

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