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Hero truck driver fought flames to save 81-year-old motorist who died in horror accident

Lorry driver Robert Kirk, 48, has been presented with one of the top prizes for bravery for his attempt to save a pensioner from burning in his car after an accident in Werrington, Staffordshire

Mr Hopwood, 81, pictured, crashed into a tractor in Werrington
Mr Hopwood, 81, pictured, crashed into a tractor in Werrington

A truck driver has been awarded the highest bravery award for bursting into flames after a car crash and smashing a window before attempting to rescue a pensioner trapped inside.

Robert Kirk, 48, turned away after the accident in Werrington, Staffordshire, on March 19.

Mr Hopwood had been driving but did not appear to notice a tractor that had pulled up on the road with mechanical problems and it pulled straight into the back of a trailer, he reported HullLive.

Mr Kirk, who is also a Regimental Sgt Major Instructor with the Army Cadet Force at Driffield, has now been presented with one of the country’s highest awards for bravery for his fight to save the elderly driver who sadly died.

He had been following Mr Hopwood in his truck and saw what had happened and realized the driver had to be extricated from the car immediately.







Mr Kirk tried to save the pensioner by fighting flames
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Picture:

Staffordshire Police / Stokeon TrentLive)

Ignoring the obvious danger to himself from the flames and the possibility of an explosion, he smashed the driver’s window in with his fist and then managed to bend the damaged door back far enough to free the driver before the fire could spread to him.

He provided first aid at the scene until paramedics arrived and took over, but despite their best efforts, Mr Hopwood, 81, could not be saved.

In recognition of his bravery in his fight to save the man, Mr Kirk has now been presented with a parchment testimonial from the Royal Humane Society and he has also won the personal commendation of Secretary Andrew Chapman.

Mr Chapman said: “He ignored the danger to himself of trying to rescue the driver from the wreck. It was an incredibly dangerous situation.







Mr. Kirk has now been honored with a high decoration for his bravery
(

Picture:

Staffordshire Police / Stokeon TrentLive)

“There’s always a very real risk of an explosion when there’s a fire following a car crash, but he went in and used brute force to get the driver out. Unfortunately the driver did not survive but Mr Kirk was without a doubt a true hero and well deserves the award he is to receive.”

The roots of the Royal Humane Society go back more than two centuries. The Queen is its patron and its President is Princess Alexandra.

It is the premier national institution honoring bravery in saving lives. It was founded in 1774 by two of the most important physicians of the time, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan, and their main motive was to promote resuscitation techniques.

But in recognition of people who were willing to risk their own lives to save others, the award system evolved and a variety of awards are given today.

Since its inception, the Society has reviewed over 87,000 cases and awarded over 200,000 awards.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hero-lorry-driver-battled-flames-27305856 Hero truck driver fought flames to save 81-year-old motorist who died in horror accident

Fry Electronics Team

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