Ordeal not over yet for Lilian

LILIAN Blankley will be laid up in hospital for at least a week after her hair-raising ride in Coffs Harbour on Wednesday.

The 84-year-old has broken ribs on her left side, cracked ribs on her right, a cracked sternum, a swollen knee and ankle and a cut above her left eye as a result of the accident we reported yesterday.

Mrs Blankley was off to Park Beach Plaza for a spot of shopping when disaster struck only 200 metres from her home at 10.50am.

Police said she was driving south on Dutton Crescent and was negotiating a sweeping right-hand bend when she lost control of her vehicle.

Her sedan became airborne as it plunged over an embankment and came to a shuddering halt as it straddled Coffs Creek.

“She could see herself flying through the air,” said Mrs Blankley’s son-in-law, Greig Ireland, from her bedside at Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

“She has no idea how it happened. She thinks she may have blacked out but she’s not sure.

“When you see where she ended up she’s lucky she didn’t roll over.”

Mr Ireland rushed to the scene when the bad news broke and he stood in the water to do whatever he could to help the emergency services tending to his mother-in-law.

Mrs Blankley was stabilised before SES volunteers carefully carried her up to the road in a Stokes litter and placed her into the waiting ambulance.

Mr Ireland is full of praise for everyone involved in her rescue – from the young boy who heard the crash and rushed to her aid to the emergency crews and police, Baringa Hospital staff and neighbours and passers-by who offered help.

Mrs Blankley’s family including her husband, Dennis, daughter, Lynda, and son, David, are now rallying around her and hope she can make a speedy recovery.



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