He hit the brakes but nothing happened. The car continued to pick up speed. He stamped down several more times, only to achieve the same outcome. Nothing. He could feel his heart racing, the blood pounding in his ears as he fought to regain control of the runaway vehicle. Donald Daggett, CEO of one of Australia's top three wine producing companies, was losing a fight for the first time in his life. He knew it and his wife, Elizabeth, knew it. He saw the knowledge in her terrified gaze as he glanced sideways at her. She had her arms out, bracing herself against the dash as he fought to keep the car on the road. He swiped madly at the sweat trickling into his eyes, burning them, and causing his vision to blur. Damnit, I can't save us if I can't see, he thought. He reached for the emergency brake, hauling back on it with all his strength. Once again, nothing happened. None of the brakes seemed to be functioning. A leisurely day trip in the bucolic English countryside had become an unexpected hellish nightmare ride through the quiet evening streets of Bourton-on-the-Water.
Daggett sensed an aching pressure building and clutched his chest as the tension suddenly turned painful. Dark blotches swam into his vision, and he tried to shake them away but succeeded only in losing his grip on the wheel. His wife seized her seat belt and turned her face to her window, screaming at the houses flashing past. Moments later the car careened across the road, with a screech of skidding tires, and tore into the solid stone pillar of an ancient bridge before flipping into the turbulent stream below.
Water rushed in through the shattered windows, swirling around their heads as the Daggetts dangled by their safety belts. Donald twisted and fought to free himself as water rose past his head. He reached out frantically for his wife only to encounter her limp body. The pain in his chest exploded and everything went black.
Moments later a dark figure slipped from the nearby shadows. It eased down the embankment towards the wreckage with one intention in mind. And it wasn't to be the Daggetts' salvation.