‘Lucky to be alive’ mum and daughter raise funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Craven Herald: Denise Hirst and her mother, Trudy Murgatroyd Denise Hirst and her mother, Trudy Murgatroyd

A mother and daughter are campaigning to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, almost six months after their car plunged into Chelker Reservoir in a horrific accident.

Denise Hirst struggled to keep her 88-year-old mother’s head above water when their Land Rover left the A65, smashed through a drystone wall and ended up on its side in several feet of water.

Trudy Murgatroyd suffered head injuries in the accident, on May 15, which left her bleeding heavily.

Ambulance crew members took the swift decision to call in the air ambulance helicopter and fly her to Leeds General Infirmary for urgent treatment.

Now the mother and daughter, of Draughton, are planning a fundraising sale to help keep the ambulance in the air.

The charity-funded service costs more than £7,000 to operate every day.

Mrs Hirst, 55, was herself taken to Airedale General Hospital for treatment after the accident.

As a driver who had used the road for 30 years without incident, she is supporting a push by Draughton Parish Council for better safety measures on the A65 alongside the reservoir.

She said: “It was a very horrific accident. Both the air ambulance and an ordinary ambulance were involved, and we want to thank the air ambulance for the life saving help they gave to us.”

Their sale, in aid of the air ambulance charity and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charitable Fund, will take place at Draughton Village Hall from 1.30pm to 4.30pm on December 1.

The sale will include stalls selling cashmere wear and accessories, plants, preserves, CDs and other goods and a fundraising silent auction. Mrs Hirst is inviting local businesses to make donations for the auction.

Both Mrs Hirst and Mrs Murgatroyd, now 89, are recovering from their ordeal.

“We’re very grateful to be alive, that’s what we’re trying to focus on,” said Mrs Hirst.

“It makes us feel we’d like to give something back.”

Draughton Parish Council is to study road accident statistics for the A65 at its next meeting on November 14.

To make a donation to the auction, contact denishirst@yahoo.co.uk.

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