Road workers pull motorist from blazing car

Grant Prior 12 years ago

Two heroic Highways Agency road maintenance workers rescued a driver from a blazing car.

The brave pair have been praised by Northamptonshire Police for rescuing a motorist from a burning car on the A45 on November 29.

Richie Stripp and Tony Austin, who work for contractor AOne+ maintaining motorways and major trunk roads in the East Midlands, were returning from a repair job when they came across the accident near Wootton Junction.

Stripp said: “There were several members of the public already on scene and clearly panicking about what to do.

“When we arrived in our maintenance vehicle and high-viz clothing, all eyes turned to us for assistance.”

Before they knew what was happening the car set on fire, with the dazed driver still trapped inside.

Stripp continued: “Neither of us gave it a second thought, we just knew instinctively that we had to get the driver out and move the onlookers away from the incident in case the vehicle exploded.”

Austin added: “Once we had got the driver safely out of the car, we also closed the slip road using the cones aboard our vehicle to stop other motorists coming to harm and also to allow the emergency services to get immediate access to the scene once they arrived.”

The driver concerned, who wishes to remain anonymous, has expressed his sincere gratitude to the AOne+ workers.

Superintendent Sean Bell, from Northamptonshire Police said: “Immediately without regard for their own safety, the crew had gone to the burning car and between them got the driver out, consciously asking what injuries he had sustained.

“The driver was having a medical episode and was unable to help himself. When he finally came round he had no recollection of what had happened and where he was.

“Not only did they rescue the driver but managed to keep all the public back and close the slip road prior to us arriving with the fire service thus keeping others safe as well.

“If Richie and Tony had of not acted in such a fashion, it may have become a fatality.”

Martin Fellows, East Midlands Regional Director, from the Highways Agency said: “Richie and Tony showed exceptional courage and we highly commend their actions which not only saved the motorists life, but also prevented others coming to harm.”

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