An heroic teenager today relived the terrifying moment he managed to avert a potentially disastrous car crash after his school driver collapsed ill at the wheel.
Jodexnis, a student at Rossall School, was travelling in a car with Ian Fraser, who was the school’s medical centre taxi driver, when Mr Fraser suddenly lost consciousness.
As he slumped in the driver’s seat, the taxi lurched straight into the path of oncoming traffic on a busy dual carriageway.
But without a second’s thought, the brave 17-year-old grabbed the steering wheel as the vehicle veered just metres away from an oncoming car.
Speaking for the first time about the incident, Richard, originally from Hanover, Germany, said: “Suddenly the car was going off to the right, I looked and Mr Fraser’s head was on the steering wheel.
“I thought he’d had a heart attack. I thought he’d died.
“We were about one metre away from another car, going into oncoming traffic, so I grabbed the steering wheel and we skidded to the left.
“We smashed into some grass and concrete and the car came to a halt, I just stumbled out.”
The teenager had no idea where he was and had to run 60 metres down the road to ask for an address to give to the emergency services.
He added: “I felt numb, my adrenaline was high and I could hear my own heart beating.”
Mr Fraser was bringing the lower-sixth student back from an appointment at Spire Hospital.
Richard was able to take control of the car quickly as the drama unfolded on Warbreck Hill Road, Blackpool, on the afternoon of March 4.
He said: “If I had been on my phone and not watching the road I might not have realised so quickly.
“The impact would have been quite hard, it could have been much worse.
“I didn’t think, it was just instinct.”
Paramedics arrived at the scene within five minutes, as Mr Fraser started to regain consciousness.
Richard, who has been trained in first aid, said: “It was only five or six minutes but it felt so long. I went into shock.
“It was scary because I couldn’t do anything for him.
“The whole left side of the car was smashed up and the wheels were knocked in. I wasn’t injured luckily.”
Mr Fraser was checked by paramedics and taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where he was told he was suffering the effects of a virus from which he has now recovered.
Mr Fraser told The Gazette: “I just want to thank the young man for his assistance.”