Norfolk ‘hero’ lorry driver speaks out after rescuing woman in labour from flooded road

The father-of-four has worked for the company for five years. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The father-of-four has worked for the company for five years. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Norfolk lorry driver has been hailed a hero after rescuing a pregnant woman who was about to give birth from an island.

Justin Tacey took a stranded couple across the Mersey causeway so that they could get to hospital to

Justin Tacey took a stranded couple across the Mersey causeway so that they could get to hospital to deliver their baby. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Justin Tacey, 45, was returning to the Emmitt Plant's base, when he found Kelly Brinkman, 32, who was being rushed to hospital after her water broke on Thursday, January 4, but became stranded after the road to the mainland was covered by the high tide.

With no route off the island and time running out, Miss Brinkman and her partner Paulo Pereira had started to panic - until Mr Tacey came to their aid.

Mr Tacey, from Diss, was returning after making deliveries to a caravan park on the island when he noticed the couple in distress and offered to help.

He loaded their car on the back of his eight-wheel truck and made the half mile crossing through tidal waters.

Kelly Brinkman with her daughter Lillie Rose Maria Pereira. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Kelly Brinkman with her daughter Lillie Rose Maria Pereira. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


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Safely on the mainland, the couple were able to continue their journey to Colchester General Hospital - where baby Lillie Pereira was delivered by Caesarean section.

Miss Brinkman, who is recovering at home with Mr Pereira, Lillie and her eldest daughter Olivia, has offered a 'massive thanks' to Mr Tacey, saying 'we could not praise him enough'.

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Mr Tacey, a father-of-four, said he had been surprised by the reaction.

'I was just doing what anyone else would have done,' he said. 'I had the means to do it and so I couldn't have just left her there.'

Kelly Brinkman and Paulo Pereira with their daughter Lillie Rose Maria Pereira. Picture: SARAH LUCY

Kelly Brinkman and Paulo Pereira with their daughter Lillie Rose Maria Pereira. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mr Tacey has been a driver for Emmitt Plant for five years, making deliveries all over the region – but says Thursday was the first occasion he has helped deliver a pregnant woman to hospital.

The West Mersea Coastguard, which was on the scene, has also paid tribute to Mr Tacey, calling him a 'true gentleman'.

'If Justin hadn't been there to take us across, there's a good chance I'd have given birth beside the Strood,' Miss Brinkman added.

'We don't often see massive trucks like that on the island so for Justin to have been there at the right place and the right time seemed like divine intervention.'

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