Coalpit Heath man honoured for M5 bravery

September 12 2018
Coalpit Heath man honoured for M5 bravery

An award ceremony has brought together a Coalpit Heath man with three strangers linked by a motorway accident.

Lorry driver Andy Brown was awarded a Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC) Pride Award for rescuing a motorcyclist after he came off his bike on the busy M5 motorway near Taunton in February this year.

Andy, from Coalpit Heath, saw the rider fall from his bike in the third lane and lie motionless. He immediately pulled onto the hard shoulder and dialled 999, speaking to call handler Claire Bounds. 

Although emergency services were quickly dispatched Andy was very worried that drivers travelling at speed in the dark, heavy rain and standing water might further injure the rider.

He put himself at risk by running across the three lanes of traffic to pull the injured rider to the relative safety of the central reservation.

Andy said: “It wasn’t just me, I would like to thank everyone who helped me on that day, without the support of the call handlers and paramedics, the injured gentleman would not be alive today. Thank you all.”

Claire stayed on the phone with Andy offering reassurance and support until PC Olly Low and the ambulance crew arrived. The rider suffered significant injuries to both legs and his back.

All four met at the event at Police Headquarters in Portishead after Andy was nominated for an award by the man he rescued – Ralph Winslade from Bridgwater. 

Both Oliver and Claire joined Andy, Ralph and their families to see Andy presented with his award by PCC Sue Mountstevens.

Ms Mountstevens said: “Through the awards I have the privilege of hearing stories  of people saving lives, fundraising for charity, volunteering to support those in need and those who devote their careers to serving their communities.

“These are the people who we rely on to support our communities to make them stronger; they do this without a second thought and mostly without recognition or thanks. This is why I think it is so important to send a message to all those working hard to make a difference, we are truly thankful.”