Man pulls driver out of crashed vehicle as it bursts into flames on Portaferry Road

The scene of the Portaferry Road crash.  Picture: PSNI
The scene of the Portaferry Road crash. Picture: PSNI

Police have praised the actions of a member of the public who pulled an unconscious driver to safety as his crashed vehicle burst into flames.

The two-vehicle collision took place this morning (Saturday) on the Portaferry Road outside Newtownards. Two people have been taken to hospital as a result.

A police officer posted on the PSNI Ards Facebook page: “I shook the hand of a very brave man today.

“I know we often say that people could have saved lives but the gentleman concerned today really stepped up to the mark.

“Seconds after this collision the car burst into flames with the unconscious driver still inside. Risking his own safety the gentleman managed to pull him free of the car and to safety.

“I know for sure that nobody involved here set out to be involved in a traffic collision nor expects to be witnesses to such a scene but it’s something that could happen to any of us at any time. What way we would all react I suppose we will never know until it actually happens to us.

“Our thanks to all involved including a passing casualty doctor who on his day off with his daughter suddenly found himself back on frontline trauma duty.”

The officer also thanked paramedics and members of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service for their quick response and to the other members of the public who stopped and helped with traffic and first aid.

The road was closed for a time, with diversions in place, but has now reopened.

“Lastly to the drivers involved and their family we hope they make a speedy recovery,” the officer added.