PICTURES: Woman finally reunited with Doncaster miners who saved her life as a baby 30 years ago
A woman has finally been reunited with a group of miners who saved her life as a baby nearly 30 years ago.
Stacey Parkes, 29, was rescued from the wreckage of a car crash by seven colliery workers after a horror smash three decades ago and has spent years trying to track down the men who saved her to say thank you.
And yesterday, she was finally reunited with the gang - dubbed the Magnificent Seven - in a tearful and emotional reunion just yards from the crash which killed her great auntie.
Said Stacey: "If it wasn't for those guys I wouldn't be here. They saved my life and I have always wanted to meet them and say thank you.
"I was so nervous meeting them all and it was a really emotional day. It is a dream come true that I have finally been able to meet up with them all."
Stacey was just 18 months old when the car she was travelling in was involved in a horrendous head-on crash with another car on a winding country lane near Hooton Roberts near Rotherham on October 22, 1988.
Her great aunt Cynthia died at the scene while her aunt Barbara survived the accident, despite also being injured.
But Stacey was hidden, trapped inside the wreckage of the car - and it was a stroke of luck that the men, all first aiders at the now closed Rossington Colliery, were first on the scene of the smash.
Explained Andrew Whittaker, 51, from Conisbrough and one of the seven, who helped to save Stacey's life: "We were on our way back from a competition, in those days we used to practice our skills at events all over the country, but this was the first time we had put them into use for real.
"We had only gone down that road because there had been an incident on the motorway.
"We were the first at the scene of the accident and it was a right mess. We only found Stacey when we started going through the wreckage.
"She was unconscious and not breathing but we managed to revive her before the ambulance arrived."
The youngster was in intensive care for a few weeks but gradually pulled through and she was presented with a teddy bear - which she named Rosso in tribute to the men and the pit they worked at - but after the initial media circus about her survival died down, her family lost touch with the rescue team.
Added Stacey: "Every year when the accident anniversary comes round, I have always thought about the men who saved me and meeting up with them again to say thank you.
"I am 30 this year and thought it would be nice to try and find them. I put out an appeal on Facebook and eventually managed to make contact with Andrew and then he managed to get in touch with the rest of the men."
Stacey was finally reunited with the men - Ian Jopling, Steve Rodgers, Stuart Barnes, Dave Newman, John Clark, Rob Clayton and Andrew yesterday at the Earl of Strafford pub, just a short distance from the scene of the accident.
Andrew said: "I'd tried to find Stacey too, but had always come up against a brick wall. I always wondered what had happened to her."
Stacey, from Rawmarsh and now a mum of three, said: "I was really nervous. Obviously I couldn't remember anything about the accident but they told me all about it and what happened that day.
"I really can't thank them enough them for what they did that day. I've kept the teddy bear with me and it is helped me through tough times of my own."
"I had every emotion under the sun - nerves, happiness, upset, excitement . It truly was a dream come true."