Runner hits headlines after saving driver in Cornwall cliff fall


All runners have seen some strange things at some point while out and about, but not many of us can claim to have hit the national headlines after saving someone’s life during a daily jaunt.

It was all in a day’s running though for Run England member Ben Stafford who was on national news last night after saving a driver whose out of control car ended up stranded on the side of a 300ft cliff in Cornwall.

Truro-born Ben was jogging along coastal trails near St Agnes with his wife and friend while on holiday in Cornwall yesterday morning when he spotted the Vauxhall Vectra perched precariously on the rock face.

“I was about 20m to 30m ahead of the girls, half an hour into an hour-long run, and I had turned round to see if they were ok, when I noticed the car on the cliff top,” he said.

Urged by his wife and friend to go and see if there was anyone in the car, he climbed down to it and was shocked to see the driver still inside the vehicle and conscious.

“I was totally shocked. I thought it might be a corpse at first but she turned out to be conscious. I ran back up the cliff to tell my wife and friend, who then ran off to raise the alarm with the Coast Guards.

“I climbed back to the woman and tried to keep talking to her and keep her calm until emergency services arrived.”

The woman, 56 year old Lyn Venton, was thrown into the passenger seat when her car fell over the cliff after losing control in the sea mist on Monday, and is likely to have been stranded in the car for around 20 hours.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro said today that Lyn is "recovering well" after suffering leg injuries.

Ben used to be a semi-professional rugby player and has been running on and off for several years, but is now a member of Run England and trying to get fit again. He currently runs three to four times a week as he prepares to take on the Perranporth Triathlon in September.

What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you on a run? Join the discussion on our Facebook Page at and find out more about joining Run England for free at


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