Men honoured for risking their lives during brave rescue attempt

THREE men who risked their lives to rescue a teenager from a horrific car crash are to receive commendations. Two men died in the crash at Holme Fen in May this year, despite the best efforts of the brave trio, who used a Land Rover to pull the car from a

THREE men who risked their lives to rescue a teenager from a horrific car crash are to receive commendations.

Two men died in the crash at Holme Fen in May this year, despite the best efforts of the brave trio, who used a Land Rover to pull the car from a ditch.

Bob Hunt, 22, from Sawtry, and James Aylesbury, also 22, from Stilton, died in the crash. The driver, a 14-year-old boy from Peterborough to whom the men had been giving a driving lesson, survived.

Farmers Adrian Bowyer and Ian Redhead, of Holme, and Graham Smith, from Great Stukely, were first on the scene of the crash, at about 7pm on Bank Holiday Monday, May 7.


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The Humane Society has commended the men for their efforts to save the three occupants of the BMW.

A spokesman said: "This courageous trio put themselves at risk to carry out a difficult and dangerous rescue with limited, and inadequate, resources.

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"But for their efforts, it is unlikely any of those trapped in the car would have survived."

Mr Redhead was the first man to see the car crash into the water-filled ditch from his home. He rushed out to find the car overturned, submerged, and wedged so tightly in a narrow ditch that the doors could not be opened. He could hear shouts and screams from inside the car.

Realising he needed more help, Mr Redhead turned to his neighbour Mr Bowyer, who drove his Land Rover to the scene.

By this time the men had been joined by Mr Smith, who had been working in a nearby barn. Mr Smith jumped on the car and banged on the floor pan and a voice inside the car responded.

Mr Bowyer and Mr Smith tied a strap - usually intended to secure tarpaulin or tow light vehicles - from the Land Rover to the car. Mr Bowyer then reversed his vehicle to pull the car from the water. Once the windows were above water, Mr Smith helped the hysterical driver escape. The teen then had to be restrained by Mr Redhead.

Mr Smith returned to the car to pull one of the men from the rear of the vehicle.

Finally, Mr Redhead helped the third man escape the car by cutting his seatbelt with a knife before the emergency services arrived.

Despite the efforts of the rescuers, both passengers in the car died as a result of their injuries.

No date has yet been set for the men to receive their awards, which were made on the recommendation of Cambridgeshire police.

n The 14-year-old boy involved in the car crash has been charged with careless driving and driving without insurance or a licence. He will appear in court on Tuesday, September 4.

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