Search

Highgate charity campaigner crashes car into council flat after fainting at wheel

06:00 23 May 2014

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity SANE, publically thanks caretaker Alan Ashard for pulling her from smoking wreckage after her crash in Colebeck Mews, Islington. Picture: Polly Hancock

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity SANE, publically thanks caretaker Alan Ashard for pulling her from smoking wreckage after her crash in Colebeck Mews, Islington. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A journalist and charity campaigner, who was lucky to escape with her life after her car veered off the road and crashed into a block of flats, has publicly thanked the man who pulled her from the smoking wreckage.

Ms Wallace's car after it crashed into the flat in Colebeck Mews, IslingtonMs Wallace's car after it crashed into the flat in Colebeck Mews, Islington

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity SANE, fainted at the wheel of her Mercedes and swerved off the road – narrowly avoiding a large tree and a concrete bollard – as she was driving home from work last month.

Ms Wallace, of Bisham Gardens, Highgate, only regained consciousness after her car had crashed through a brick wall and into a ground floor council flat in Islington.

Luckily, she escaped from the collision with just a broken arm and lacerations.

“I woke up with the smoke from the airbag, with the blood from my arm and all the bricks,” said Ms Wallace.

“I was quite calm at the time. I just said very politely, can anyone help me get out of here?

“I was quite shocked to suddenly find myself in a brick wall and to be trapped. It was a miracle no one else was hurt.”

Mr Ashard, who lives above the flat Ms Wallace crashed into, said the collision on April 10 sounded like “a motorbike accident, and then a gas explosion”.

“My wife and I thought the building was going to fall down,” the 50-year-old said. “If it wasn’t for the brick wall, it could have! It broke the impact of the car.”

He rushed downstairs to help and saw that Ms Wallace was trapped. With smoke rising from the engine, Mr Ashard feared it could explode.

He could see Ms Wallace’s arm was broken so he gingerly pulled her to safety while his wife Lorraine called the emergency services.

Ms Wallace was taken to The Whittington Hospital, Archway, where the day’s trauma should have been at an end.

But she was put on the ward where her partner, the leading science journalist Tom Margerison, had stayed before his death two months ago.

“I thought, now Tom, I know I said I didn’t want to go on living without you but this is too much,” Ms Wallace said.

She discharged herself and instead visited the hospital’s new same-day treatment service, which opened on March 31, for one week after the collision.

“Alan said some guardian angel must have been guiding me that day,” she said. “Maybe Tom didn’t want me to go either.

“My thanks to Alan are absolutely enormous. In its own way, it was life-saving and I am exceedingly grateful.”

Islington Council has put in steel girders to support the block of flats, in Colebeck Mews, Canonbury, and has boarded up the hole the car made in the wall.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 08:41
Owner Saby Thukral at the opening party of her store in Heath Street

Struggling with the challenge of shopping for her fashion-conscious daughters in the area, a Hampstead Garden Suburb mother has opened up a new children’s shop in Hampstead.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Claire Meir part of a charity raising money for books for Syrian refugees in Turkey. Photo: Nigel Sutton

A mother was inspired to fundraise to buy books for Syrian children in Turkey after imagining what it would be like if her son was fleeing devastating civil war.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
The primary school pupils enjoyed a range of workshops. Photo: Jacqui Sinnatt

Camden and Islington primary school children enjoyed a taste of creativity away from the classroom at the Primary Careers Fair held at the British Library.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Ray Davies is returning to Hornsey Town Hall

Ray Davies performed one of his first gigs at the iconic venue when he was still at school, before going on to form The Kinks

Friday, April 29, 2016
The coffin arrives for the funeral of David Gest arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Mourners have remembered music producer and TV star David Gest at a funeral service in Golders Green.

Friday, April 29, 2016
PC Shane Moulds has been dismissed for misconduct

A Camden police constable has been sacked for punching a member of the public he was arresting and hurling abuse at him, calling him a ‘posh twat’

Friday, April 29, 2016
Big Green Bookshop is raising money for Haringey schools.  Joint owner Tim West  pictured. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Two book owners was sickened when an opportunistic thief stole £600, but their customers were “unbelievably” supportive and in a “tsunami of loveliness” helped them raise more than nine times the amount in donations.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Found dead: David Gest (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

The funeral of David Gest is set to take place this afternoon at Golders Green crematorium, according to reports.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe