A MAN has spoken of the dramatic moment he rescued a woman from an overturned car just minutes before it burst into flames.

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Darren Cock was driving to work from his West Mersea home when the drama unfolded yesterday, just after 8am.

The 42-year-old said he saw a car coming towards him and veer out of control, before it rolled over near some woodland off Mersea Road in Abberton.

The father-of-two immediately turned round and rushed over to the silver Ford Focus, the underside of which was already on fire.

Without hesitation, he managed to open the car door and grab the driver’s ankles, pulling her to safety, Moments later the whole car was engulfed in flames.

Mr Cock, who works as a construction director at Mersea Homes, has been praised by the emergency services for his heroic act of bravery and will be awarded a certificate of commendation from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

Speaking last night, the father-of-two was keen to down play his actions and said he hoped others would have done the same for him.

“I just thought something needs to be done now rather than waiting for anybody else,” he said. “I didn’t really think about how easily the door would open, I was only thinking I have to get her out.

“We walked away from the car and a minute later it went up in flames.”

Mr Cock waited with the casualty until fire crews arrived and extinguished the fire by 8.40am.

He said: “I remember seeing in my rear view mirror the car cross over a grass bank and roll over, so I stopped my car and turned back.

“But by the time I got to the lay by, the car was upside down and I could see the bottom of the car had caught fire.

“I managed to get the door open and saw the woman’s ankles, so I grabbed them and pulled her out.

“She didn’t seem to be in too bad a condition and we walked away but then a minute or two later the car was up in flames.”

The woman, aged 41, sustained minor injuries and was taken to Colchester General Hospital.

Mr Cock said: “It was the right thing to do at that time and I would have thought anybody else in that situation would have done the same thing, or at least I hope they would if it was me in there or any of my family.”

He added: “My family are proud of me but obviously I think it was down to timing and the circumstances that I happened to be there at the right time.”

Last night a spokesman from Essex Police said the woman had been arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

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