90-Year-Old Widower Who Broke His Hip On a Driveway Drags Himself to His Car and Uses Car Horn as Morse Code to Summon Help
When a 90-year-old British man fell in his driveway and broke his hip, his resourcefulness may have saved his life: The retiree crawled to his car and honked the horn in Morse code to get help. He lay in the rain and cold until a grocery store delivery driver heard the alert.
She discovered the injured man and tended to him until he could be taken to the hospital, where he spent three weeks recovering. "She's a godsend," the man told the Telegraph. Read on to find out what happened and why the man thinks he might not have survived without the driver's quick intervention.
After Keith Turner slipped on his driveway in North Wales, he dragged himself to his car despite a broken hip. Unable to drive himself to the hospital, he used the horn to strategically tap out the Morse code for SOS. Delivery driver Sam Speechley, 45, heard the honking as she pulled up in her van and came over to investigate.
"I heard the Asda van pull up, so I managed to get to the car horn," Turner told the Telegraph. "I didn't want to press it continuously as people may have thought it was the car alarm going off, so I pressed it intermittently so it sounded like SOS. I was so pleased to see Sam when she came over."
"When I got out of the van I heard someone toot a car horn," said Speechley. "It kept going on and it was like a Morse code pattern. It just sounded like an SOS to me; something didn't feel right." "I walked down the road to the house in the corner and I saw a gentleman lying in his driveway next to his car and he was halfway in the car and tooting his horn," she added. "He'd left his house and walked over to his car and he'd slipped on the paving slabs on his driveway. He'd dragged himself across the drive to his car, opened the door and started to toot his horn for attention."
Speechley tended to Turner in the cold, pouring rain. "At the time he'd suspected he'd broken his hip as he couldn't move his legs. I asked if I could go into his house and made him a cup of tea, got him a blanket and some cushions." The driver knocked on the doors of neighbors, who called for an ambulance. "As it was pouring down and freezing his neighbor got two large umbrellas to put over him," said Speechley. She waited and talked with Turner for an hour.
"Sam was lovely," said Turner. "We chatted for ages and she kept me distracted as I was in a lot of pain." "We just talked about his life; his late wife, railways and Land Rovers," said Speechley. "All sorts of things really just to keep him occupied as he was in a lot of pain. I think he was pleased that I was there. He reminded me of my own grandfather and if it was a member of my family in that situation I would have hoped someone would have helped them."
Speechley called her store, which sent another driver to finish her deliveries so she could stay with the injured man. Turner's daughter-in-law Emma later called Speechley to update her—Turner had, in fact, broken his hip—and express her gratitude. "We can't thank Sam enough for what she did. She is amazing. She never left him at all, she reassured him and was so lovely, caring and kind."
"Sam saved my life, she really did, and I can't thank her enough," said Turner. "I'd been laying there in the rain and cold for half an hour and if she hadn't come along when she did I don't think I'd have made it. She's a godsend." Speechley's manager has nominated her for an award at work. "To recognize the sounding of the car horn as a sign of distress was just unbelievable," she said. "To look after the gentleman for all that time is Sam all over. She's just such a caring person."