Woman, 81, hurt in crash, thanks those who helped

An elderly woman who was seriously injured in a car crash at Goodwood has given a heartfelt thank-you to all those who came to her aid.

Diane Wills, 81, from Westgate, Chichester was returning home from the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, where she works as a volunteer, when the Peugeot she was driving collided with a Land Rover on Kennel 
Hill Road.

Mrs Wills, who thought she was going to be trapped inside her burning car, was rushed to 
St Richard’s Hospital.

“I was really frightened,” she said. “I thought the car was on fire and I was trapped, but then I realised the smoke was actually coming from the airbag which exploded.”

Firefighters were called to the scene at 6.49pm on August 9 and had to cut Mrs Wills free from her car using hydraulic cutting equipment.

She was kept in hospital overnight and has since been resting at home.

“God bless you all and the marvellous work you do,” said 
Mrs Wills, discussing the efforts made by those who helped rescue her and have assisted her 

Mrs Wills suffered two cuts 
to her head which needed 
stitches and her right collarbone was fractured.

There was a large distortion to her left knee which caused some concern, as Mrs Wills has had two knee replacements.

Emergency services had been concerned that Mrs Wills had sustained serious neck injuries.

“They didn’t know where all 
the blood was coming from which was around my neck and head,” added Mrs Wills.

She was placed on a spinal-board and headrest for several hours until various x-rays and tests were completed, confirming she hadn’t injured her neck.

Mrs Wills is now recovering from the ordeal of the crash, and is receiving support from a dedicated team of nurses 
and physiotherapists connected to Langley House Surgery in Chichester.

She added: “Everybody all the way along has been most kind and very patient.

“The police, firemen, ambulance people and the hospital have been absolutely marvellous to me and I am just so grateful.”

A Weald and Downland spokesman said: “We’re very keen to have her back. Diane volunteers at least two days a week in the museum to welcome visitors.

“She is part of the happy family of the museum. We all miss her very much and we hope to see her again very soon.”