Five men who fought a life and death battle to save a man from being burned to death in the blazing cab of a refuse truck are to receive top national bravery honours.
If they had not risked their lives to pull him from the blazing wreckage, recycling supervisor Ian Simmonds (42), of Ryhall, who had been a passenger in the truck, would have died an agonising death in the flames.
The horror crash happened on the A 15 at Baston on the afternoon of June 1 last year.
The driver of the car which crashed head-on into the truck was killed.
Mr Simmonds received a broken leg and arm and was badly burned but thanks to the rescuers who ignored the possibility that the blazing truck could explode killing or maiming them, he survived.
Now Carl Creasey (39), of Hubba Crescent, Swineshead, who led the rescue, is to receive a rarely awarded Royal Humane Society Bronze medal for his bravery.
The award has been personally approved by Princess Alexandra, the Society’s president.
And four other men who joined the rescue battle are to receive Royal Humane Society certificates of commendation.
In addition to the awards, they all also won the personal praise of Dick Wilkinson, Secretary of the Royal Humane Society.
Speaking at the Society’s headquarters in London, as he announced the awards Mr Wilkinson said: “They all richly deserve the awards they are to receive.
“Without doubt they put their own lives on the line to save Mr Simmonds who was trapped in the blazing cab of the refuse truck.
“But for their action Mr Simmonds was facing an agonizing death as the fire took hold of the vehicle.”
Describing what happened Mr Wilkinson said: “The car crossed the road into the path of the refuse truck that was travelling at 40-45mph.
“Following the head-on collision, the truck came to rest at the side of the road. It was quickly engulfed in flames.
“Mr Creasey was travelling in the same direction as the car and, when he saw the truck facing him, he stopped and rang 999.
“However, the truck driver shouted that his passenger was trapped in the cab.
“Carl then abandoned his call as he saw the front of the truck become engulfed in flames and smoke.
“The windscreen of the truck had come out in the collision and despite the flames he jumped on the bumper of the truck and hooked his arms under the armpits of the trapped man and tried to pull him out.
“At this stage he was unable to get him out but he called on the others who were now present, to help him. They formed a line behind him and, with the extra weight, he pulled the man free.
“He then administered first aid to the injured man who had a broken arm, a double open fracture to his lower left leg and 11 per cent burns to his left side.
“The fire was so bad that it put the truck ‘beyond meaningful examination’.”
The others involved in the rescue, who are to receive Royal Humane Society certificates of commendation, are Adam Lessiter, of Aveland Way, Boston, Damon Lloyd, of Falklands Drive, Wisbech, Sam Penhallow and Adam Poole, both of Harlow.
No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the awards.