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Four-hour roadside wait for stranded driver, 82

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 14, 2014

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A HUSBAND has spoken of his ‘disgust’ after his 82-year-old wife was left alone for hours when her car broke down.

It happened six miles from Margaret Thompson’s home in Smedley Court, Egginton.

She called her husband Ron, who contacted the RAC – their breakdown company for the past 42 years.

Mr Thompson said he then went off to a doctor’s appointment and was surprised when he returned an hour later to find his wife still not home.

He called her to check where she was – and was told nobody had arrived to help. Soon after, a breakdown truck did turn up – but the mechanic could not get the Toyota Yaris going again as the clutch had burned out. Mr Thompson said his wife asked the man to take her home but claims he refused.

Mr Thompson said: “The man wanted to take my wife to a garage. We wanted him to bring her home.

“For reasons we do not understand, he towed the car to Mackworth and dropped it off. He told my wife to get in it and wait for another recovery vehicle to pick her up. She did as she was told. She sat there, on her own, waiting for this other vehicle – but it didn’t come for three hours.

“It was gone 5pm by the time she got home – more than four hours after the car broke down. She’s 82 years old. To be left alone in a car for hours after breaking down is a bit scary.

Mrs Thompson said: “It was just ridiculous. People were coming out of their houses inviting me in, but the man had said not to leave the car.”

An RAC spokesman said: “We are sorry that we have let Mrs Thompson down on this occasion. Due to a burned-out clutch, we were not able to repair her car at the scene, which meant we had to recover it.

“Unfortunately this took longer than we would have liked so, to say sorry, we have offered Mrs Thompson six months’ free membership. We feel we could have done far more to help such a valued, long-term member.”

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