Saved By A Sausage Roll

A quick snack stop saved He­len’s fam­ily from cer­tain death…

Pick Me Up! Special - - News - He­len Gra­cie 36, Pais­ley

Driv­ing along the mo­tor­way, my fam­ily and I belted out the lyrics to Grease the mu­si­cal, a CD we all loved and al­ways had handy in the car.

We had just been on a great hol­i­day to see my mum, He­len, 60, and we were tak­ing her back with us to get her out of the house for a while.

It was a long drive, and the kids, Jak, three, Zoe, 13, and Max, 14, were all starv­ing and des­per­ate for a snack.

But my hus­band, Thomas, 50, was keen to push on and get back home as fast as pos­si­ble.‘but Dad, I’m hun­gry,’ Jak groaned. ‘I want a Mcdon­alds,’ Max said.‘i want a Greggs,’ Zoe cried.

A few miles later Thomas fi­nally gave in.

Talk of sausage rolls had his stom­ach growl­ing.

‘Oh al­right then! I sup­pose a small stop off can’t hurt!’ he said, flash­ing me a grin.

A cheer went up in the back of the car, as the kids cel­e­brated their wel­learned vic­tory.

We turned off the mo­tor­way and into the South­waite ser­vices, a few miles away from Carlisle.

We weren’t wealthy, but we still thought it im­por­tant to have a nice, re­li­able car to keep us safe.

Our Vaux­hall Zafira was newly bought with some money we got when Thomas’s mum had sadly passed away a few months be­fore.

‘I think you should put the money to good use, some­thing that will help us in our daily life, so that your mum knows she’s al­ways help­ing us…’ I said sooth­ingly as my hus­band fret­ted about what to do with his small in­her­i­tance. So af­ter some very care­ful choos­ing, we got our car and this was our first road trip with it.

Thomas had been so proud that we had in­vested in it as it was one of his favourite mod­els and he had ex­cit­edly shown pic­tures of it to all

his mates down the pub!

Af­ter find­ing a place to park, Mum and I took the kids in­side to use the toi­let.

Thomas was left to go and source some warm­ing pas­tries.

Sausage rolls were a firm favourite in our fam­ily.

‘Don’t for­get the ketchup sa­chets!’ we called af­ter him. Mak­ing our way around the ser­vices with all the kids was a bit chaotic and I was glad to be back out­side in the carpark, greeted by a gust of cool wind. We met Thomas back at the car. ‘What took you so long you slow coaches!’ he said jok­ingly, hand­ing round the lovely warm rolls.

The smell of pas­try and lightly sea­soned meat filled the air.

And for a few min­utes our kids were quiet as they tucked into their tasty snacks.

We de­cided we should get back on the road be­fore it got too late. We still had a long way to go and we were all tired. ‘We’ll eat in the car.’ I said. I got Jak strapped into his car seat. It was tak­ing me a while when I heard a huge gasp.

Be­fore I knew what was go­ing on Thomas had shoved me out of the way and was grab­bing Jak straight back out of his seat. I was about to ask what the hell was go­ing on but then I saw that the car was fill­ing with a thick black smoke. It was bil­low­ing from the air vents and mak­ing its way quickly through the ve­hi­cle with force.

The first wisps of smoke had been as light as a puff of cig­a­rette smoke and now this in less than a minute.

I just couldn’t get my head around it - the car was in flames!

My mum had jumped out of the car with Max, and Thomas had Jak in his arms.

It was at this moment that I re­alised that Zoe was in the back of the car not able to get out the back door be­cause of all the lug­gage.

She would have to hop across the seats to get out but she was fairly wedged in.

The smoke was get­ting thicker and by now I was start­ing to panic.

Mum and I both grabbed hold of an arm each and man­aged to haul Zoe out and away from the ve­hi­cle.

‘Are you ok?’ I cried, as she gasped for fresh air.

Nod­ding, Zoe wrapped her arms around me and I ush­ered her away from the ve­hi­cle.

Mak­ing sure we were all out of the car, Thomas told us to run.

Hot foot­ing it away from the smoky car we didn’t look back un­til at a safe dis­tance.

By the time I turned back to catch a glimpse, our beloved fam­ily car was on fire.

I was so scared. Even though we were all safe, the stress lev­els made me al­most feel an­gry. How had this hap­pened to us?

The red fiery heat was start­ing to lick around sur­round­ing cars too and on­look­ers were gath­er­ing around.

It was like watch­ing an ac­tion film.

I just kept think­ing about how lucky we were that we’d stopped for sausage rolls when we did. The thought of be­ing on the busy mo­tor­way with all the kids at the back of the car made me feel sick to my stom­ach. We were so lucky not to have had any se­ri­ous in­juries, or even worse.

The smoke and the flames hap­pened so fast there is no way we would have all been able to get away com­pletely un­scathed.

Thomas al­ways tells peo­ple now that ‘sausage rolls saved our lives!’ It sounds silly but it is true. But I think we were all in too much shock to fin­ish our pas­tries.

The car was a to­tal write off and was to­tally un­recog­nis­able af­ter it had burnt out.

The man­u­fac­turer is re­call­ing all sim­i­lar ve­hi­cles, which is a re­lief. I’d hate an­other fam­ily to go through what we’ve been through, or god for­bid, even worse.

We still love sausage rolls, but now we al­ways make sure to stop off for snacks on long jour­neys, just in case!


The car was a fire­ball

De­stroyed by flames

Feel­ing lucky

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