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Couple make shocking find in Beachy Head death plunge car
An estate agent has revealed the moment he looked inside the wreckage of a car which had plunged off Beachy Head and saw a face.
Couple Rob Burnett, of Eastbourne, and Michelle Keyes, of Lewes, were walking along the shoreline near Birling Gap when they saw the smashed-up car on Wednesday at about 2pm.
Mr Burnett, who was walking a few feet ahead of Miss Keyes, said he could not believe it and yelled for her to come and look – which she did.
They had no mobile phone signal and had to run over rocks to nearby Cow Gap before calling the emergency services.
It is believed the pair missed seeing the Astra car fly over the cliff by minutes and were the first on the scene of the tragedy.
Speaking exclusively to The Argus, Mr Burnett, 30, explained how they were enjoying a day out walking along the Sussex coastline when they stumbled across the wreckage.
Mr Burnett said: “The car looked newish. We could still smell the petrol and I went over and looked in it.
“I could see a face, so I called Michelle over and she saw it too.
“We panicked. The tide was coming in fast and we needed to get the emergency services there.”
He said Miss Keyes had to be treated by paramedics afterwards because she went into shock.
On Friday police, coastguards and firefighters worked to pull the car from the spot where it fell, which took five hours.
It could not be retrieved on Wednesday because the tide was coming in and it was dangerous.
Officers were also attempting to contact the dead man’s family.
A Sussex Police spokeswoman yesterday said police had recovered a man’s body from the car, but the vehicle remained on site.
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