Nurse drives MR2 into river

Source: Henley Standard
Date: December 14, 2001


A nurse who was dragged from the Thames after her car skidded on a patch of ice has complained she was made to wait for two-and-a- half hours in a police station for a breath test, still in her wet clothes.
Alexandra Allen, from Henley, lost control of her X-reg Toyota MR2 car on ice along River Terrace and plunged into the freezing water on Tuesday evening.

Up to her waist in water, Ms. Allen called her friend Mark Jones, who works at Hobbs Boatyard, to come and help her out. 
She told the Standard: “I was on my way home from work in my full uniform when I hit a patch of ice and lost control. As I was sliding towards the water I didn’t panic because of my training. I just thought I had to open the windows so I could get out.

“I called Mark on my mobile because I knew he worked nearby and he came straight down. He was fantastic, turning the car around before he and another man I don’t know pulled me out.”

Ms. Allen was wrapped in a blanket by a paramedic.
Then the police asked her to take a breath test. “I couldn’t breathe into the machine because I’m asthmatic and I was hypothermic,” Ms. Allen said. “The police made me go to the police station in my wet clothes and they took the blanket I had away.

“The breath test was negative and I didn’t get back to Mark until two-and-a-half hours later.”

But a police spokesman said in a statement that she had turned down their offer of a change of dry clothes and another blanket. He said they were called to River Terrace at around 7.55 p.m. on Tuesday night.
“The driver failed to provide a breath test, and was therefore arrested — as is standard procedure. She was promptly taken to Loddon Valley Police Station, arriving within 30 minutes. The woman was given a blanket and offered a change of clothes. She was then asked to provide two further breath samples, which were within the legal limit.
“She left the station within 40 minutes of arriving, time which included booking in, signing for property and other administration, as well as providing the samples.

“The ambulance was at the scene of the accident along with the fire and police service. “Thames Valley Police is satisfied the correct procedures were followed. The Force has not received a complaint from the woman. If one is received, her concerns will be addressed directly.”



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