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14th Jun, 2021

Bromsgrove nurse hits out at breakdown company which 'left her and her family stranded at the side of the motorway'

Ashleigh Osborne 8th Jun, 2021 Updated: 8th Jun, 2021

A BROMSGROVE NHS nurse claimed she and her family were left stranded on the hard shoulder of the motorway in Bristol after their breakdown recovery company took 16 hours to recover their vehicle.

Gillian Coombs, her husband and three children from Marlbrook were driving home from their holiday at Devon Cliffs when their car broke down.

She said after phoning Emergency Assist Limited they were told no-one would be able to be pick them up as they were a family of five, and it would break social distancing guidelines.

“We broke down just shy of junction 19 on the M5.

“We obviously didn’t expect them to drive us home, but we also didn’t expect them to abandon a family on the side of the motorway.

“I ended up phoning Bristol and Somerset police, who were amazing, but it’s not what you expect to do when you pay money for a recovery service.”

The police drove Gillian and her three children to the nearest service station, while her husband stayed with their vehicle waiting for it to be recovered.

Gillian’s husband then phoned the company back and said his wife and children were no longer with him so therefore he and the vehicle could be recovered without breaking social distancing guidelines.

Gillian claimed Emergency Assist Limited said they would send someone out at 12.30pm but did not arrive until 10.30am the following morning, meaning her husband missed work and they lost a day’s earnings.

Gillian said it was only luck she and her children managed to get home safe.

“We got home back to Bromsgrove purely because friends of ours who were staying in Cornwall decided to come home, and they miraculously stopped at the same service station the police officers dropped us off at.

“But the point is, what if they hadn’t? What was I meant to do with my four-year-old twins and my nine-year-old in the middle of the night?”

Gillian said she felt let down by Emergency Assist Limited and has switched to the AA.

The Standard contacted Emergency Assist Limited but it declined to comment.

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