A DRIVER was saved by two passing motorists with ‘minutes to spare’ after his car had become submerged in a flooded ford.

Denise Evans happened across the car in Shell Ford near Himbleton on Wednesday with an Openreach technician already at the scene, before the daring rescue was undertaken.

Firefighters apparently told the technician he was a “hero” because if he hadn’t waded out onto a submerged bridge and dragged the driver out through the boot, “we would be pulling out a corpse”.

Business owner Ms Evans, 65, was on her way to see a client in Tibberton and by chance decided to take a more scenic route which meant going over the crossing.

She said the technician was out of his van and gestured to her not to try and cross the water, with it having risen to over four foot and the current being very strong.

He told her “somebody has just gone through and been swept over to the right” and confirmed he had called the emergency services.

They contemplated finding a hammer and attempting to smash the window if they could get close enough, but with neither having one in their car they decided they couldn’t delay any longer.

“We didn’t know who was in there, it could have been children or someone in a panic or having a heart attack,” said Ms Evans. “I was not going to leave the situation without doing something.”

She is very familiar with the area, having cycled the route before, and with the technician saying he would try get closer, she advised he stay on the right where there’s a footpath, though at that point underwater. Meanwhile, she would loop back and drive round to the other side of the ford.

As the technician waded out along the footpath, he was “in water up to his thighs” she said. By the time she’d got to the other side the male driver had been pulled out onto the bridge via the boot which was “miraculously” ajar, while the car filled with water.

“They were sat on the bridge. It’s a strong current and if either had gone in at that point they’d have been dragged out and over the other side.” Referring to the driver, thought to be in his 50s, and who was English but had driven over from France to visit his brother, Mrs Evans said: “His eyes were red and he was very shaken.” She said the firefighters thanked her but she emphasised the technician was the “real hero”.