A ‘BANANA-SKIN’ fall left a Good Samaritan abandoned on an isolated icy road in freezing temperatures with a broken leg.
Simon Barden, 46, of High Street, Westham rescued a stranded, tearful driver in Horsewalk, between Hooe and Wartling, and was on the way back to his Land Rover when he slipped on the treacherous road, breaking his leg in two places.
He lay on the impassable hill from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, comforted by passers-by as temperatures plummeted to -10C, before being rescued and taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital.
Farm worker Mr Barden suffered a clean break to both his tibia and fibula when he fell on December 17. He was discharged from hospital after five days. His leg will be in a cast for up to four months, leaving him jobless.
He said, “I had all sorts of things going through my head, it was absolutely crazy.
“I was thinking, ‘what am I going to do about Christmas?’ Luckily I had the girlfriend’s Christmas present.
“It was a banana-skin moment - a bang and that was it. It was pretty painful. You would not believe how easy it is to break bones.
“Luckily someone came along fairly quickly - they couldn’t really drive past me! But obviously no ambulance could get along therep. Everyone who came along was brilliant, helping out with blankets, and no-one was going anywhere. There was plenty of Christmas spirit and it restored my faith in humanity.”
Mr Barden was on his way to his mother-in-law’s when he was diverted along Horsewalk because of road closures, only to find his way blocked by three cars struggling to make it up the hill.The first was eventually towed to safer ground by a tractor and the second made it unaided.
But a woman in her 20s in the third car had was in tears, struggling to find purchase on the ice, so Mr Barden hopped into the car and drove it up the hill. She thanked him wholeheartedly and drove off. Mr Barden then slipped on the way back to his own car.
Paul Toomey, a security manager driving home to Ashford from Eastbourne, found Mr Barden lying in the middle of the road waving desperately for help and stayed with the stricken Mr Barden throughout the ordeal.
Mr Toomey said, “I didn’t want to leave him. It’s all you can do. I mean you have to, you couldn’t just leave him there in the middle of the road.He was quite jovial, having a bit of a laugh about it - I think the cold helped a bit.”