Pregnant mother describes agonising moment she was f...
A mother yesterday relived the agonising moment she was forced to choose between saving the life of her son or her daughter. Rachel Edwards had been driving Jack, 16, and two-year-old Isabella when their car hit a pothole and veered into a dyke. As water rushed into the sinking vehicle, Mrs Edwards - who was six months pregnant - squeezed out and swam to the surface. She took a breath and immediately dived back down, managing to grab hold of Isabella. Unable to rescue both of her children - or to let go of Isabella - she took her daughter to safety first. But Jack was trapped behind a closed door and, tragically, he drowned before Mrs Edwards had a chance to go back.
On Tuesday Mrs Edwards, 39, confessed she is tormented by the fact she could not save her son after the accident near Boston, Lincolnshire, on August 19. 'Since then I have spent every waking moment thinking about how I could have saved both my children,' she said. 'I pulled Isabella out and 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.'
Rachel Edwards (right) escaped death by squeezing through an open window as the car began to sink after it plummeted into a dyke. She could not save her son Jack (centre) though Mrs Edwards added that her last memory of her son was of him putting his hand on her arm, to protect her as the car began to sink.
Mrs Edwards and her two children moved to Essex four years ago but are originally from Mickleover in Derbyshire.
When the tragedy happened they were on their way to a holiday in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, to stay with family.
In a scene reminiscent of the film Sophie's Choice, in which a mother is forced to choose which of her children should live and which should die, Mrs Edwards had only seconds to decide whether to rescue Jack at the same time as Isabella, or swim back for him.
Fearing she would let go of her daughter if she stayed under water, she decided to save Isabella first.
When she tried to go and save her son, she was held back by paramedics, who had by then arrived on the scene.
They pulled him from the silver Citroen Xsara, but he was certified dead in hospital.
Mrs Edwards is haunted by the memory of her son strapped into the front seat of the car. She had told Jack, who was just five days from collecting his GCSE results, to keep his window closed in case the breeze upset Isabella, who was sleeping. Because his window was closed, Jack would have faced a struggle to escape from the rapidly sinking car. Following the accident Mrs Edwards, from Dunmow in Essex, and Isabella were treated for minor injuries at Boston's Pilgrim Hospital. Isabella was later transferred to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham for further treatment but has now recovered and is back home.
Two friends of Jack, Tom and Dave, were also in the car and managed to escape as it sank. They ran to a nearby house and called the ambulance.
Mrs Edwards is now preparing for the birth of her third child, a baby boy, who is due on November 21 - just three days after Jack's birthday. But it will be a bittersweet occasion for her after she buried her first-born son last Friday. His father, Carl Brennan, who lives in Alvaston, Derbyshire, and is separated from Mrs Edwards, said: 'It is a hard thing to put into words how I feel. 'You don't think you will ever have to bury your child.'
On August 24, five days after his death, Mrs Edwards collected Jack's GCSE results. Jack, who loved skateboarding and rock music, had obtained Cs and Ds - the grades he needed to get into college. More than 300 people attended his funeral in Dunmow last Friday. 'The nicest thing about the funeral is that people were lining down the streets to pay their respects,' Mrs Edwards said. 'I was surprised at how many people turned up. I didn't realise he had touched so many people. 'Jack would have loved the funeral we gave him. I can imagine he was looking down and thinking, "what a spectacle this is".' Mrs Edwards added: 'Jack touched so many people. He was respectful and always told the truth and he could be trusted immensely. 'Jack was a character who could not fade in the background.
'He once knocked over a little girl in the playground by accident. 'He felt so bad about it and as soon as he got home he wrote a letter to her to say sorry - that was the kind of person he was.'
A skate park in Dunmow was turned into a shrine after friends left tributes to Jack. One message read: 'A stunning, hugely talented young man with great potential. He will be sadly missed.' Another friend wrote: 'Totally gutted, no words can describe how sad I am feeling.' At the time of his death, Jack had been looking forward to going to rock festival Ozzfest, at the O2 Arena in London.
He was buried with an Ozzfest VIP pass, sent to the family by organisers especially for the funeral.
And singer Ozzy Osbourne - who is headlining the festival - sent the family a signed ticket for Jack's casket.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1309911/Mother-Rachel-Edwards-forced-choose-child-save-sinking-car.html#ixzz0zBEZRgB4