TWO courageous men who risked life and limb to save a critically injured driver from a flaming car wreck have been honoured for their heroism.
Martin Abbott was helplessly trapped in the tangled and smoking remains of his Golf Convertible when Kenneth Wareing and Andrew Walker bravely defied formidable danger to haul him to safety.
The gallant pair were reunited with Mr Abbott for the first time since the rescue when they were presented with commendations for their live-saving actions by Lancashire Fire Service.
Mr Abbott, of Newton Avenue, Poulton, said: “I can’t thank them enough and it goes without saying what the outcome would’ve been if they hadn’t stepped in.
“When it comes down to it you think ‘what can I do to thank them for what they did?’
“Nothing of monetary value can do that.”
Mr Abbott, 43, was driving along Normoss Road at 1.30pm on Sunday, December 4 last year when he was struck by a Porsche Boxster.
He said: “I remember the point of impact, the noise and cold rush of air as the windscreen came in – and then sirens.
“I couldn’t breathe and the next thing I heard voices, unbeknownst to me it was Ken and Andy dragging me out.
“Without them I wouldn’t be here today, their bravery was unbelievable.”
The two heroes, who received their commendations in a ceremony at Blackpool Fire Station, described how the drama unfolded.
Mr Wareing, 60, from Poulton, said: “When I saw the flames I was absolutely petrified but we didn’t have time to be frightened.
“Luckily we managed to get him out and carry him away from the car.”
Mr Walker, 34, a taxi driver from Wilvere Drive, Norbreck, said: “I knew the car was on fire and I knew if someone was in it he had to come out, and after that you don’t really think of it.
“I can remember it all but I just acted.”
Among those in attendance at the ceremony were Mr Walker’s parents Avril and Michael, a retired fireman,
Mrs Walker, of Bispham Road, Carleton, said: “The fact he was brought up with the fire brigade had something to do with it. He didn’t think about it, he just did it.”
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer Peter Holland presented the commendations to the pair.
He said: “It’s unbelievable two people are prepared to put their lives at risk to save a fellow human being.
“There’s absolutely no question that had they not taken action they did Mr Abbott’s injuries would’ve been a lot worse. He would’ve been very badly burned and he could even have died.”
The rescue will be featured on Channel 4’s 999 What’s Your Emergency programme in November.