Mother unable to rescue son in car plunge

A pregnant mother described how she managed to rescue her young daughter but was unable to save her teenage son when their car plunged into a dyke.

Rachel Edwards, 39, was driving two-year-old Isabella and Jack Brennan, 16, with two of his friends when they hit a pothole and veered off the road in Midville, near Boston, Lincolnshire last month.

As their vehicle began to sink, Mrs Edwards – who was six months pregnant – escaped through an open window and swam to the surface.

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She dived back down and was able to pull Isabella out of the car but was unable to rescue Jack without letting go of her daughter.

Mrs Edwards told a local newspaper: "At first I didn't try to get out because I was in shock. But my window had been open so I managed to get out and up to the surface.

"But Jack's window hadn't been open – I told him to close it before we went into the dyke because Isabella was sitting behind him in her car seat and she was asleep."

She continued: "I saw the bottom of the car so I shoved my hands under and I felt her car seat. I pulled her out and I knew she was still alive.

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"I tried to go back for Jack but I knew if I let go of Isabella then I wouldn't be able to get her back.

"I was just screaming and screaming. (Jack's friends) Tom and Dave had managed to scramble out and they went running off to the nearest house to get help."

Mrs Edwards took her daughter to safety. But when she tried to go back and save her son she claims she was held back by paramedics who arrived at the scene.

A police officer pulled the teenager from the Citroen Xsara estate and he was certified dead in hospital.

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Mrs Edwards said her last memory of her son was of him putting his hand on her arm, as if he was protecting her, as the car began to sink.

The tragedy happened at 8pm on August 19 as they were on their way to a holiday in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, to stay with family.

Mrs Edwards moved to Essex with her children four years ago but is originally from Mickleover, Derbyshire.

Jack's father, Carl Brennan, who lives in Alvaston, Derbyshire, and is separated from Mrs Edwards, said: "It is a hard thing to put into words how I feel. You don't think you would ever have to bury your child."

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After the accident, Mrs Edwards and her daughter were treated for minor injuries and shock at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston.

Isabella was later transferred to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham for further treatment.

Mrs Edwards' third child, a baby boy, is due on November 21, just three days after Jack's birthday.

"Jack wasn't too pleased about that when I told him because he thought his 18th birthday next year would be overshadowed by the baby's," she said.

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On August 24, five days after his death, Mrs Edwards collected Jack's GCSE results.

She said: "He got Cs and Ds. That was what he needed to get into college. He might have not got As or anything, but he made a lot of people happy and that to me is more important than exams."

More than 300 people attended his funeral last Friday in Dunmow, Essex.

At the time of his death, Jack was looking forward to going to rock festival Ozzfest, at the O2 in London on September 18.

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He was buried with an Ozzfest VIP pass, sent to the family by

organisers especially for the funeral.

Singer Ozzy Osbourne – who is headlining the festival – sent the family a signed ticket for Jack's coffin.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire police said the accident was being investigated and a report would be sent to the coroner.