UK & World News
Driver Spends 14 Hours Upside Down In Ditch
A driver has been rescued after spending almost 14 hours trapped upside down in a ditch in his car.
The 44-year-old is believed to have been returning from work in the early hours of the morning when he plunged 20ft (6m) into the water-filled ditch alongside the A2070 in Kent.
He escaped drowning by climbing into an air pocket towards the boot of his MG but could not free himself from the wreckage.
He was eventually spotted by a passing lorry driver who saw the car's wheels and raised the alarm.
"The car was almost submerged in 4ft (1.2m) of water," said Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) watch manager Allan Brown.
"Firefighters used hydraulic cutting equipment to release the hatchback door so they could check if there was anyone inside.
"In order to release him, crews winched the car partially up the bank so it was far enough out of the water to safely remove him."
The driver, named locally as Mark Beckford, of New Romney, was treated at the scene by paramedics.
He was taken by ambulance to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford where his condition was described as stable.
Rob Sherwood, of KFRS, described the rescue as "very unusual" and praised firefighters who climbed into the ditch to reach the stranded motorist.
"I'd (also) like to praise the lorry driver for spotting the car and calling 999," he said.
"If he hadn't stopped for a look then the man would have been in there even longer and it might have been a different outcome."
:: Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the serious collision investigation unit at Kent Police on 01622 798538.