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Postmaster’s bravery award

Dramatic scenes on the A68 at Burtree near Darlington, when brave motorists dragged driver Andrew Basham from his Renault Clio, just seconds before it exploded into a fireball of flames

Dramatic scenes on the A68 at Burtree near Darlington, when brave motorists dragged driver Andrew Basham from his Renault Clio, just seconds before it exploded into a fireball of flames

A BRAVE postmaster who risked his life to pull a motorist free from a horror crash seconds before his car was engulfed in flames is to be honoured for his life-saving efforts.

Colin Wales, 66, will be presented with a certificate from the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire on Wednesday for his efforts on the northbound carriageway of the A68 at Burtree Gate, near Darlington.

 Two vehicles had collided head-on, a Renault Clio which was already well ablaze and a Citroen C3, driven by a 60-year-old man from Bishop Auckland.

 This car was bursting into flames when help arrived.

 Mr Wales, who runs the village post office in Trimdon Grange and had been directly behind the cars when it happened, made the initial 999 call and then got out of his own vehicle and managed to pull the Citroen driver clear and then to safety with help from a lorry driver from Wales.

 The Renault driver, a 32-year-old from Shildon, suffered a broken pelvis and sternum, while the Citroen driver suffered two broken ankles, a broken arm and spinal injuries during the incident on October 12 last year.

 Mr Wales, who was heading home from to Darlington from work, said: “Some have said it was a brave thing to do, but it was simply a reaction to a situation where someone needed help.

“On reflection, I could not live the rest of my life knowing that I could have helped someone and did nothing.

“Besides, two seconds later it would have been me and I hope someone would have done the same on my behalf.”

 PC Ruth Barrett, one of the first police officers on the scene, said: “Because of the quick and ferocious nature of the blaze, it was very doubtful that either driver could have got out in time had it not been for the actions of Mr Wales and the other people who stopped to help.”

 
 
 

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