Un­likely hero’s sav­ing grace

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Aaron Cor­lett

SOUTH Perth res­i­dent Matt Shales con­sid­ers him­self an un­likely hero af­ter sav­ing two peo­ple from a fiery car crash on the Canning High­way, but his ac­tions have been recog­nised in this year’s Aus­tralian Brav­ery Awards.

SAV­ING two peo­ple from a fiery car crash in a brave and self­less act has earned South Perth res­i­dent Matt Shales recog­ni­tion.

His coura­geous act to pull the men out of the car af­ter it hit a power pole on Canning High­way dur­ing the evening of June 23, 2015, re­sulted in him re­ceiv­ing a Com­men­da­tion for Brave Con­duct as part of the Aus­tralian Brav­ery Awards.

Mr Shales said he was tak­ing his rub­bish bins to the front of his house when he saw the car col­lide with the pole and the front end of the ve­hi­cle catch fire.

“At first I saw the car fly­ing through the air and it was quite a spec­ta­cle, but then it clicked in that it was real life,” he said.

“I was in shock, but then I heard a moan so I jumped over my fence and dragged out the pas­sen­ger through the win­dow. He was OK but the driver fell into the back of the car and he had a bro­ken leg.

“It was one of those things; be­fore I knew it I was in the mid­dle of it and I can re­mem­ber my girl­friend yelling at me to get away.”

Mr Shales said he was wor­ried about the fuel tank but once he saw it down the road, he knew it was safer to save the two men.

“The fire was just con­tained to the en­gine at first and hadn’t spread to the cabin yet,” he said.

“The po­lice came along and hand­cuffed the two guys. I never got their names or found out what hap­pened to them.

“I stepped on some glass but apart from that I was fine. Not long af­ter the car was all lit up and the fire bri­gade came.

“I didn’t think much of it un­til I re­ceived a let­ter that said I had re­ceived the award.

“I’m not sure who nom­i­nated me; I didn’t tell too many peo­ple apart from my fam­ily so I want to get to the bot­tom of that.”

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d458297

Matt Shales.

Matt Shales, of South Perth. d458297

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