Policeman saves man from burning car

A POLICEMAN has been praised for his “gallant” actions after he used a hacksaw to cut a man free from a burning car before dragging him to safety.Pc Jason Rice was the first person on the scene of an horrific road accident that happened near Great Waldingfield yesterday afternoon.

A POLICEMAN has been praised for his “gallant” actions after he used a hacksaw to cut a man free from a burning car before dragging him to safety.

Pc Jason Rice was the first person on the scene of an horrific road accident that happened near Great Waldingfield yesterday afternoon.

On arrival, he saw a man who was trapped inside his car and screaming for help as the flames engulfed the vehicle.

The quick-thinking officer cut the victim's seatbelt and pulled him from the car, which had hit a gate and destroyed 20 yards of fencing before coming to a rest on its side in a ditch.

Last night, fire chiefs commended Pc Rice's behaviour, and said he saved the 50-year-old driver from a “potentially very serious situation”.

The officer, who is based at Sudbury Police Station, said: “When I arrived on the scene three members of the public were attempting to put the flames out with a fire extinguisher but without much effect.

Most Read

“A man was trapped inside and screaming for help and he needed it quickly because the flames were getting higher.

“I grabbed the fire extinguisher from the patrol car and emptied it on to the flames - but it only beat them back and didn't put it out.

“I used a hacksaw to cut his seatbelt and as I did so I could feel the heat of the flames as they spread.”

The driver of the car was airlifted to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds as a result of the

accident, which happened on Valley Road between Great Waldingfield and Newton, at around 9.30am yesterday.

Police said he is thought to have sustained a head injury, although his condition is not believed to be life threatening.

Pc Rice, who also praised the actions of his colleague, Pc Sam Gilkes , added: “Rescuing people isn't what we do on a daily basis but I'm sure any officer would have done the same.

“I knew instinctively I had to get him out, and I think it was split-second decision that anybody would have made.”

Assistant Divisional Officer Carl Francis, of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said Pc Rice made a “gallant and bold move” in rescuing the victim from the car.

“He undoubtedly saved the casualty from a potentially very serious situation,” he said.

Acting sergeant Sally Smith, who is also based at Sudbury station, said Pc Rice had done an “exceptional” job.

“His decision was the brave decision and the right one but I am not sure everyone would have done the same,” she said. “Jason has been very modest but I am very proud of him.”

will.clarke@eadt.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter