Published: 11:35, 01 November 2019
| Updated: 11:35, 01 November 2019
A couple whose car flipped three times in a terrifying motorway crash - leaving their children hanging upside down - say they are lucky to be alive.
Vikki and Ted Payne, from Ramsgate, were travelling home from Gatwick in the early hours with their two daughters, Phoebe, nine, and Edith, three, asleep in the back.
The family had just got back from a half-term break to Egypt and were driving along the M2 at 4.30am on Wednesday - between the junctions for Maidstone and Faversham - when they say another car careered into them, sending their Vauxhall Grandland X through the air and onto its roof.
"We were in the left-hand carriageway and another car came up the motorway behind us and undertook a lorry," said Mrs Payne.
"It went back into the fast lane but we think it lost control and hit us, straightened up and drove off.
"Our car flipped over in the air - it felt like about three times - and landed on its roof.
"Luckily some guys stopped to help us.
"My husband climbed out of his window to get to my youngest daughter, who was in her car seat behind him, hanging upside down from her straps."
Window fitter Mr Payne, 39, along with another driver who stopped and two men from Balfour Beatty, who had pulled over in their van, managed to get the girls out and eventually Mrs Payne.
A passing ambulance also stopped to help and the family was taken to Medway Maritime Hospital to be checked over.
Amazingly, they all walked away with just cuts and bruises.
Mrs Payne, 34, says the three people who stopped were brilliant.
"If it wasn’t for them the children and I could have been in the car for longer," she said.
"The guys also took the girls in the van so they could sit in there while we waited. The ambulances, police and hospital staff were all amazing, too.
"I just want to say a big thank you to them all."
Mrs Payne says they feel incredibly lucky and that "someone was watching down on them" that day.
"It's amazing we're all OK - just bumps and bruises," she said.
"Even the recovery man in all their years couldn’t believe that four people walked away from the car they had picked up."
The couple have managed to trace the two men from Balfour Beatty to say thank you and are hoping the third Good Samaritan will come forward.
They are also appealing for information about the other car, which is thought to be a black hatchback.
Police have been asked for a comment.
More by this authorMarijke Hall