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The woman had been there for some time, and was suffering from shock and exposure when discovered by the teenager

An 18-year-old cyclist has rescued a woman from her overturned car which ended up in a ditch at midnight on Saturday night earlier this month.

Teenager Steven Sheath discovered the crashed car returning from a  work shift having, serendipitously, decided to take a different route home along Over Road, Longstanton, he told the Cambridge News.

The driver, who was alone on the otherwise empty road on 2 August was suffering with shock and exposure, and first aid trained Sheath called the emergency services and looked after her until the local fire service arrived to cut her out of the vehicle.

Sheath said: "I was cycling back from work and I normally go down the guided busway but on the off-chance I decided to take a different route.

"I saw a car overturned in the ditch. I had a look inside with my bike light and there was a lady inside. The car was on its side and the roof had caved in and she was trapped inside.

"She had been there for a while."

"I do not think she was injured too badly – she said she had hit her head and there was a pain in her chest.

"The main thing was shock and exposure.

"I tried to keep her warm and get some water in her. I was talking to her asking her where she worked, if she liked the area, anything to keep her occupied."

Sheath, who is a six form student at Impington Village College and member of St Ives Air Cadets, works at Wasabi restaurant in Cambridge city centre, where he was cycling back from on Saturday night. This was apparently the second time he had helped someone in distress.

Father Neil Sheath said: "The woman was hanging upside down, was hypothermic and in shock. I think if she had not been spotted and was left there overnight there is a chance she would not have survived."

He added: "It's not the first time Steven's done this. Last year he came across a cyclist in Swavesey who had a bone sticking right out of his arm.

"Everyone was running around and screaming but he kept calm, treated and looked after the boy and also controlled the crowd."

The Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement: 

"Crews from Cambridge and Cottenham were called to a road traffic collision in Over Road, Longstanton.

"Firefighters used specialist cutting equipment to release one female casualty from a single vehicle collision. They returned to stations by 1.15am."