A mother of two has spoken of her fear after being forced to jump out of a window when her Range Rover exploded.
Sami Webster was trapped inside the car by the locked doors as smoke seeped through the dashboard.
A mother-of-two said she was thinking desperately about her children when her Range Rover exploded at a traffic light. Sami Webster climbed out of a window and fractured two ribs after the doors jammed shut
Sami Webster climbed out of a window and fractured two ribs after the doors jammed shutPhoto credit: NB PRESS LTD
The 30-year-old had rolled down the driver’s side window on a warm day – and squeezed through when the vehicle burst into flames.
But she was badly injured, suffering two broken ribs and smoke inhalation during the harrowing ordeal.
Sami, from Bolton in Greater Manchester, was just two blocks from home when she smelled smoke.
“At first I thought it was the car in front of me, but when I got to a red light I saw smoke coming out of my engine,” she said.
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“The doors of the Range Rover were locked when I drove away and the door would not open.
“I was scared and afraid for my life because it happened so quickly.”
She said it was “so lucky” that the weather was good enough to roll down the windows.
After freeing herself, she ran to safety and called 999.
“I was really shocked and scared. I have two kids – Harper, five, and Kelsey, 11 – and luckily they were both in school,” she said.
“It could have been so much worse.
“I kept thinking how easily they could have been in the car.”
Sami has family in Bradford and Thirsk, Yorkshire, and said she’s “on the motorway forever”.
“It’s inconceivable that the fire would have started when I was driving on the freeway with the windows open and two children in the car,” she said.
“I panicked when I saw the smoke and tried to open the door but it was jammed. I was afraid that I would never get out alive.
‘LIFE OR DEATH’
“Thank God it was a sunny day, otherwise I might not have survived. I could have died so easily.”
She said she was thinking of her children – and wondered who would pick her up if she was “burned alive”.
“It was such a life-and-death situation,” she said.
Sami bought the Range Rover from Prestige Cars in York for £16,696 on a financial basis just four months ago.
Valuing the car at just £14,750, Aviva had offered her £14,050 after deducting her £700 voluntary excess, she said.
“After that nightmare I ended up with £2,646 in debt through no fault of my own,” she added.
The door was stuck. I was afraid I would never get out alive
“I received a letter from Range Rover in early April saying the car would be delivered on the 13th.
“This is happening just days before this recall, but Range Rover Bolton was quick to tell me they don’t accept responsibility for the fire. The recall affected engine management, steering and emissions.
“And when I called Prestige Cars they just said it had nothing to do with them, which was so disappointing as it’s not like a motorist would do anything to set their car on fire.”
A spokesman for manufacturer Land Rover UK said: “Customer safety is our top priority.
“We are aware of the incident and sympathize with Ms Webster’s experience, the cause of which has yet to be determined.
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“This matter is unrelated to the recall mentioned in Ms. Webster’s statement.
“We will support any investigation initiated by the insurer.”
Land Rover says customer safety is their’top priority’