24 Dec, 2009 @ 09:00
1 min read

A festive miracle in Spain


A YOUNG family have told of their remarkable escape after being stuck for 15 hours on the hard shoulder of a Madrid motorway in Arctic conditions.
After breaking down on the outskirts of the capital, Chris and Louise Mayers, and their seven-year-old daughter Monique, were forced to endure the freezing night marooned on the A4.

Unable to contact the emergency services, the Mayers’ braved sub-zero temperatures and the continuing fear that a vehicle might have hit them from behind.

The family from Pruna – who were heading to England to celebrate Christmas – were saved when a friend received their SOS text and called the emergency services the following morning.

“I honestly thought we were going to die,”

“I honestly thought we were going to die,” explained Louise, 39.

“Because we were going back to the UK, I had left my Spanish phone at home and my English mobile wasn’t connecting.

“We were stuck on a bridge in the middle of nowhere without reception. I couldn’t get through to any of the emergency numbers.”

“Cars were speeding past us, and I was just praying that one of them wouldn’t lose control and smash into us.”

After more than six hours of unsuccessful attempts, Louise somehow managed to send a midnight message to friend, estate agent Zoe Males, back in Pruna.

Louise explained: “My fingers were completely frozen, it took me about one hour to write one message. Thank God one of my texts finally got through to Zoe.”

On waking up Males, from Olvera Properties, immediately called the police who promptly arrived to rescue the beleaguered family.

“If it hadn’t been for the duvets we packed in case Chris needed a nap, I’m sure we would never have made it through the night,” said Louise, a dressmaker.

“The wind chill factor was horrendous, I’m just so glad Zoe got our text and acted so quickly. It doesn’t bare thinking about what may have happened.

“She really is our Christmas angel.”

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact [email protected]


  1. No sympathy for the lack of preparedness or logical action/inaction of these people.

    No RACE cover?

    Traveling the length of Spain and leaving your Spanish mobile behind (why not pop the sim card out and take that with them).

    Reflective jackets?

    The cars speeding by… why did they not try to flag down a vehicle? Hmmm… probably do not speak even the most basic Spanish. The A4 DOES have emergency phones…

    Again, no sympathy.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Magical Malaga lights match the best

Next Story

Record rainfall sees worst floods since 1940s

Latest from Cadiz

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press