An Asda delivery driver from Ballyclare has been accoladed as a ‘local hero’ by the man he rescued from his overturned vehicle.
Last week 19-year-old Curtis McCullough was left in distress after crashing his car on a country road near north Belfast.
But after being ignored by other drivers passing by the scene, John Rodger was the first to stop and help the teenager.
John, who was delivering a home shopping order at the time, noticed a silhouetted figure on the grass verge of a country road.
“The weather conditions were pretty bad – low cloud, misty, dark and wet. I saw a figure standing at the side of the road waving,” said John.
“When I slowed down and saw he had blood on his face I stopped and went to see what had happened. His car was on its roof - it had obviously hit a tree and parts of the engine were all over the tree and ground.”
John asked whether anyone else was in the car and then called the emergency services. He invited the man into his van to keep warm, gave him tissues to clean his face, then lent him his phone so he could call home.
“I had first aid training years ago and I knew that if someone is concussed they could be talking logically but then suffer from shock 10 minutes later. I wanted to make sure he was ok.”
Following the accident, Curtis, who is a customer services advisor from Antrim managed to track down John on social media to thank him for his calm response and support.
Curtis said: “I was coming home from work. The weather was very bad – the car started to slide and I tried to correct it. I don’t really remember the details but the car went off the road and flipped. It ended up on its roof in a ditch.”
Curtis managed to take his seatbelt off while upside down and clamber out of the car and up the bank to seek help.
He added: “I was waving but people were driving past. That’s when John stopped and asked me if I was ok. If he hadn’t stopped I don’t know how long I would have been out there. I just wanted to thank him for his help. I couldn’t remember much so I asked the police for his name and managed to find him on Facebook. He’s a real credit to the company – he could have just driven on.”
Samuel Watson, Regional ecommerce manager for Asda Home Shopping in Northern Ireland, said,
“It is really great to hear stories like this. John has gone above and beyond the normal call of duty and his actions really show the Asda ethos of showing respect to others, by stopping to help. As a regional eCommerce manager, it makes me so proud to know Asda colleagues are willing to help out in times of need.”
John has been nominated for an Asda “Gold Service Hero” award.