A couple who are both firefighters had a surprise meeting when one was involved in a car crash right next to an accident scene where the other was already working.
Natalie Hough, an aviation firefighter at Manchester Airport, was driving to work on Boxing Day morning, when she was involved in a huge road smash on the M6.
But little did she know that partner Simon Connor, crew manager at Wigan fire station, was just yards away from her already attending a road traffic collision which had occurred a short while earlier.
Natalie, 34, said: “I was on the motorway when suddenly all this slush appeared. I slowed down a bit, and I saw this sign saying there had been an accident, so I moved over to the next lane to avoid it.
“As I did so, I touched my breaks and the back end went out a bit. I caught the ice and went straight across all three lanes and hit the crash barrier, spinning around and just missing a Highway Agency car.”
Little did she know that Simon had witnessed the entire scene, totally unaware that it was his girlfriend who had almost just ploughed into him and firefighters.
Simon was leading the crew which was dealing with the earlier accident, in which a car overturned due to the icy conditions.
“It was really surreal,” said Simon, 48.
“We were stood there next to the outside lane on the M6. Cars were coming past at speed and I said ‘We’re in a dodgy situation here because if one car loses traction, it will wipe us out!’
“I turned around to see a car smack into the barrier just behind us.”
But Simon was occupied with the serious casualty from the early crash, so sent a colleague to check on the driver and assess the situation.
“He came running back to me and said ‘You better get up there’, so I thought ‘Oh God, what have we got here?’, then he said it was Nat!
“I was torn then. My work head said stay with the casualty, but my heart said go and help your girlfriend. My head won out, and I sent my colleague back to make sure she was okay. But with her being a firefighter too, she understood what I had to do.”
Natalie suffered bruising and concussion and her car was written off, but was thankfully able to walk away from the accident.