Mum forced to choose which child to save

Pregnant mother had just seconds to decide whether to pull her toddler or teenager out of a sinking car


It’s unimaginable – having to choose which one of your children’s lives to save. And yet, this is the unbearable choice that mum Rachel Edwards had to make. She had just seconds to choose between saving either her toddler daughter or teenage son from drowning.


Rachel,39, was involved in a terrifying car accident in Lincolnshire, when her car hit a pothole and careered off the road into a dyke. The car then quickly began sinking.

Rachel, who was six months pregnant at the time of the crash, had her two-year-old daughter, Isabella, and 16-year-old son, Jack, in the car, along with two of her son’s friends.

She was able to climb out of the car through her open window and then dived back into the dyke to free the children. Jack’s window was closed – Rachel had asked him to shut it just before the crash so it didn’t disturb Isabella who was asleep behind him.

She told the Derby Telegraph, “I felt Isabella’s car seat and pulled her out. I knew she was still alive. I tried to go back for Jack but I knew, if I let go of Isabella, then I wouldn’t be able to get her back. I was just screaming and screaming.”

So Rachel had to make the decision no parent should have to face – in a split second she had choose which child to save.

She pulled her daughter out of the dyke to safety, but when she went to try to save Jack, she was held back by paramedics who had arrived at the scene to help.

Police then pulled Jack from the car but were unable to save his life and he was confirmed dead in hospital. His two friends had meanwhile managed to escape from the vehicle.

Rachel revealed that her last memory of her son was of him putting his hand on her arm, as if to protect her as the car dived into the dyke. “Since then, I have spent every waking moment thinking about how I could have saved both my children,” she admitted.


Her third child, a baby boy, is due in November – just three days after Jack’s birthday. We’d like to send our wishes to the family.


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