• Cotswold Life writer Katie Jarvis relives the night she and her son survived an horrific car crash.
  • She has released the dramatic dashboard camera video of what happened when their vehicle hit ice on the A4173 between Gloucester and Stroud
  • Katie’s story features in the latest series of What if..? the Police and Crime Commissioner initiated Safe and Social Driving Roadshow which resumes today and has so far been seen by around 10,000 new and novice drivers
  • PCC Martin Surl said, “I am full of admiration for Katie and the other contributors who have lost loved ones and are prepared to share difficult experiences to help others”.

The blink of an eye; a moment’s lost concentration; and in less time than it takes to read this, a potentially catastrophic car crash.

The words (in the headline) are those of the driver. What prompted them can be seen in this video (CONTENT WARNING: swearing).

It shows what should have been a routine drive home after work, dramatically interrupted when a mother and son’s car overturns late at night on an icy road between Gloucester and Stroud – all captured on the dashboard camera.

The seven second soundbite is a chilling accompaniment to a glimpse into oblivion and the brief but terrifying uncertainty that will stay with the couple forever.

Katie Jarvis

Celebrity feature writer Katie Jarvis, the passenger, takes up the story:

“At that moment the car just felt like it was flying. It took off and just went straight over.

“It doesn’t sound very long but we hit the bank; we turned over; and then we turned over again.

“There are two things I remember. When we first turned over I thought: I’m still alive but we haven’t finished yet. We’re still trying to lose 50 miles an hour.  Am I going to be alive in the next second? I knew we were still moving, we hadn’t come to a standstill and I didn’t know what was going to happen next.  

On the A4173 between Gloucester and Stoud and seconds from oblivion…

“Worse than that, I had my child beside me. I have never been so pleased to hear him use bad language because I knew he was still alive.  But when we came to a standstill, he went quiet. I knew I was alive but I didn’t know what had happened to him.

“It felt like forever before he answered me and said I’m fine”.

For once, ‘miraculous’ seems fitting as Cotswold Life writer Katie, aged 56 from Nailsworth, and her son Miles, who was 20 at the time, escaped severely shaken but otherwise unscathed. They were pulled from the wreckage by passers-by barber Andy Jones and bricklayer Jack Rice who later received Royal Society of St. George Awards.

Andy Jones and Jack Rice receive their award from former Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Dame Janet Trotter – photo: Stroud News & Journal

Whilst Miles’ response has been to train as a retained fire fighter, to go to the aid of other crash and accident victims, Katie is about to go through it all again as one of the presenters of What if..? The safer driving campaign instigated by Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and produced in partnership between Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Gloucestershire Constabulary, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, the Severn Major Trauma Network and the PCC’s office begins its third year today.

Relatives and friends who have lost loved ones in fatal collisions deliver the What if…? road safety message by sharing their experiences

Relatives and friends who have lost loved ones in fatal collisions deliver the What if…? road safety message by sharing their experiences 

PCC Martin Surl said, “I am not only grateful but also full of admiration for Katie and all the other contributors, including many who have lost sons and daughters in completely avoidable crashes, who are prepared to re-live their worst experiences in the hope others will be spared”.

The What if…? Campaign targets novice and learner drivers in schools and colleges around the county between the ages of 17-24, the age group most at risk of being involved in a serious car crash.

So far, it has been seen by around 10,000 students. A further 4,000 are expected to attend during its forthcoming run.