Protesters thanked for ‘bravely’ rescuing family after accident

Charlotte Francis wants to thank the protesters after they helped her and her family following a car accident. Pic Steve Robards
Charlotte Francis wants to thank the protesters after they helped her and her family following a car accident. Pic Steve Robards

A mother has thanked the Broadford Bridge protesters for their ‘brave and wonderful’ help in recusing her and her family after they were involved in a car accident.

Charlotte Francis, from Billingshurst, was travelling along West Chiltington Lane road from Adversane to Coolham on Friday evening (June 9) with her husband and 16-year-old daughter.

They were involved in a collision before the Landrover they were travelling in left the road and ended up in a river.

Charlotte said: “We were travelling to pick up my five-year-old daughter before we were involved in the accident.

“Our car passed the campsite where a number of protesters have set up by about two metres.

“None of them saw the accident but they all rushed out of their tents to come and help us.”

Charlotte, who suffered minor injuries to her left shoulder and ribs, was stuck inside the vehicle.

She added: “It felt like I was sat in the vehicle for ages.

“The protesters ran over to me and when I got out of the vehicle I was standing in mud up to my knees.

“All I kept thinking about was my five-year-old daughter and how we needed to pick her up because I had no way of telling her I was delayed.

“One of the protesters came with me to knock on someone’s door and they very kindly offered to drive me to pick up my daughter. They drove us all the way their and all the way back.

“When I got back to the scene of the accident, the protesters brought me a cup of tea, fed my 16-year-old daughter and played football with her.

“The men were up on the road with my husband slowing down the traffic and ensuring it was safe for all the vehicles passing.”

Charlotte said she has been left speechless by some of the negative comments directed at protesters in recent weeks.

She added: “I just want to extend my thanks to all the protesters who came over to help us.

“I have seen a lot of people referring to these people as ‘idiots’, people who waste police time, or ‘jobless scroungers’.
“The truth is, they ran across a dangerous road to help me and my family. If that makes them ‘jobless scroungers’ then so be it. Not many people would be prepared to do what these protesters did.
“I can’t thank these wonderful people enough for what they did.”