Humble heroes helped woman trapped in car
Three brave motorists who helped save the life of a woman trapped in a blazing car after it overturned have been commended for their quick-thinking and heroic actions.
Humble father and son John and Bobby Stephens, and Chris Shore say they did what any other person would do when they joined forces to right a burning Perodua Kenari on the morning of Saturday, August 23 in 2014.
The car was travelling along the A2070 near Kingsnorth when it was hit by a Renault Clio coming from the Hamstreet direction which suddenly veered into its path.
The Perodua overturned, caught fire and left the woman driver trapped inside.
Immediately after the horror smash, John and Bobby, from Greatstone, and Chris, left their own vehicles and run to the aid of the two drivers.
John and Bobby helped remove the man from the Clio, while Chris went to check on the Perodua.
Chris, 66, from Dungeness, said at first he wasn’t sure if anyone was in the car.
He said: “I climbed up – the car was on its side – and tried lifting the passenger door.
“I looked in but all I could see was blankets; I couldn’t see anyone in there.
“It was at that stage I was driven back by the smoke coming from the engine, and climbed down and started finding liquids to put out the fire. I ran over to my car and used my water and then called over to others to pass water too.”
He was then joined by John, 47, and son Bobby, 24, and together they removed items which were covering the casualty with John hanging down inside the car.
They then turned the car onto its side and pulled the door off.
Grandfather Chris, who already knew John as they are both ex crew members of the Dungeness Lifeboat, added: “We cleared the air bag, and steering wheel and some debris, but we couldn’t get her out.
“We left it to the professionals.”
Chris added that he would now always keep a fire extinguisher in his car.
The woman, from Sellindge, was cut free from the vehicle and flown to St George’s Hos- pital, in London, suffering with lower arm, thorax, abdomen and upper leg injuries. She is still recovering now.
On Tuesday, all three men were recognised for their selfless actions at an awards ceremony held at the Kent Police College in Maidstone.
Accompanied by their families, they were presented with the Chief Constable’s Commendation by Alan Pughsley, who thanked them for their part in the dramatic rescue.
Although the woman they helped rescue was unable to attend the ceremony, she send this message to the men: “My emotions still very much overwhelm me so please understand why I can’t attend at this time.
“I send to you my sincerest thoughts and thanks.”
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Chief Constable Alan Pughsley with Bobby Stevens, John Stevens and Chris Shore
Emergency services at the scene of the crash on the A2070 and right; one of the rescuers used water from his car to tackle the fire