Roads Policing Officer Martin Willis was patrolling in the early hours of Friday when he got a call about a road crash on the A1 highway in West Yorkshire.
Officer Martin was the first responding officer on scene and upon reaching the crash site he discovered that a van had overturned as a result of the crash and precariously dangling off the bridge. The driver was trapped inside and with every passing truck, the lorry swayed with the wind.
"I walked on the hard shoulder to the incident and I as I did so a lorry driver, who was not involved in the incident, shouted across to say there was a chap upside down in the van," he said.
Without much time left, Martin Willis signalled his colleagues to block the highway and grabbed the lorry's rear side tyre. Despite the danger of slipping off the bridge along with the van, the officer stayed calm and reassured the driver trapped under the vehicle. This went on for 15 minutes.
"I told the victim not to panic and said 'we're going to get you out of there, whatever you do, don't move.' I then grabbed hold of the rear wheel and pulled inwards which helped to keep the van balanced. I was there for a good 15 minutes I think," the officer admitted.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service officers arrived on scene and rescued the driver after pulling the van to safety. The operation took about two hours and the driver suffered leg injuries in the crash. He continues to be in the hospital.
The officer, who goes by "Motorway Martin", posted the image which shows him clinging to the lorry on Twitter and he was hailed for his brave effort. The image blew up quickly with nearly 1,800 retweets in just over a day.
1st on the scene of this collision on the #A1M this morning and faced with a vehicle balancing over the edge of a bridge with the driver trapped! After holding on to the vehicle to stop it swaying in the wind I can't begin to desribe my relief when @WYFRS arrived on scene! pic.twitter.com/E8ilktlOl7— Motorway Martin (@WYP_PCWILLIS) December 1, 2017
Words of appreciation also came from the driver's brother who relayed his parents' message of gratitude for the helpful cop. The modest cop said he was just "doing his job".
John Regan Just like to say thanks "motorway martin" for your intervention, the driver is our son and you'll never know how grateful my partner and I are you should be renamed motorway marvel once again thank you so much— Simon (@sregan1971) December 3, 2017
He's in Leeds infirmary. Tom is my brother. He's had both legs pinned and needs skin grafts. He's got a long recovery but at least he's alive.— Simon (@sregan1971) December 3, 2017
I'll pass these messages on to my dad. You are 100% a hero. Our family are forever in your debt. God bless you and all your family— Simon (@sregan1971) December 3, 2017
Thank you so much for your kind words. I was only doing my job and really pleased I was able to help.— Motorway Martin (@WYP_PCWILLIS) December 3, 2017
Many others joined in
I beg to differ. You went well beyond your duty.— Simon (@sregan1971) December 3, 2017
Your superman cape isn't in this photo though! Must have come off in the fracas!— PC Adam Pace (@PCAdamPace) December 2, 2017
So it should be. It's great that you're a twitter user and you're in a position to share. Otherwise it would be another great thing that goes unheard.— PC Adam Pace (@PCAdamPace) December 2, 2017
You sir, deserve a medal for that. Well done— Kind Of Subtle (@kosind) December 1, 2017
What a brave man! Strong Guy Hope the person was not badly hurt— One Life Live It (@LisaMyLife2017) December 1, 2017
All heroes don't wear capes. Some are out on the streets in a uniform.
Click for more trending news