Fire fighters had to rush to the scene to release the woman after her car lost traction on a steep hill and began rolling backwards.

A woman escaped a ‘terrifying’ experience after her car lost traction and began rolling down a steep hill in Clovelly.

The incident happened at around 9.40pm in Clovelly on Saturday evening.

The car, which contained a woman and several children, had been trying to ascend the extremely steep slope up from the harbour.

Fire station manager Graham Rooke said it was a wet evening and he understood the car had lost traction and began rolling backwards.

He said: “When the woman released she was in trouble she made sure all her kids got out of the car.

“She applied the handbrake but it wasn’t enough, so she pushed the others out of the car.

“One child suffered a suspected broken ankle as the car rolled over his foot.”

But when the woman tried to get out of the car, she became trapped between the door, the bank, and the car itself.”

Passersby rushed to her aid to physically hold the car and avoid it rolling or trapping her further.

They held it there until crews from Hartland and Bideford arrived at the scene and managed to winch it up and release the woman.

Mr Rooke added: “When she was released she was treated by the ambulance, and the injured child was taken to hospital.

“The door she was trapped by got bent completely back round with the force of the vehicle coming down the hill.

“She was very lucky; that is a really steep hill and it must have been a terrifying experience for her.”