Driver dragged from burning car
A DRIVER'S life was saved by a hero who pulled him from the wreck of a burning car - just minutes before it exploded in a ball of flame.Darren Fuery, 24, was one of three rescuers who came across the flaming aftermath of a crash involving a lorry and a car on the A12 at midnight on Friday, on the A12 at Darsham, just north of Saxmundham.
By Tracey Sparling
A DRIVER'S life was saved by a hero who pulled him from the wreck of a burning car - just minutes before it exploded in a ball of flame.
Darren Fuery, 24, was one of three rescuers who came across the flaming aftermath of a crash involving a lorry and a car on the A12 at midnight on Friday, on the A12 at Darsham, just north of Saxmundham.
Bystanders watched in fear as the trapped casualty Thomas Gordon from Ipswich, screamed for help behind the windscreen as flames leapt up.
He shouted 'get me out, get me out,' but only Mr Fuery and two mystery men had the courage to lean in to the molten car and try to drag him free.
As the terrifying seconds ticked by, Mr Gordon's legs got tangled in his seatbelt, but between them they managed to get him out.
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Just two minutes later the car exploded.
Mr Fuery, of Hoo near Framlingham, today remains a modest hero about Saturday morning's drama - the full horror of which didn't sink in until he got back to Beccles where he was staying.
He had been on his way home from meeting up with a friend in Aldeburgh, when traffic in front slowed near the Little Chef restaurant, and he saw flames.
He said: "At first I didn't really twig what was going on, so I walked over to the car and realised some guy was wedged in between the seat and the steering wheel. People were standing around nearby, but the flames were hitting him in the face, coming from under the dashboard. He was shouting 'get me out, get me out...it's getting hot in here.'
"I went round trying all the doors but they wouldn't open. I remember trying to kick the door off but I couldn't. There was blood everywhere, and I just didn't think we were going to get him out.
"I leaned in and pulled him out through the window, with the help of the two others. His leg caught in the seatbelt and they managed to untangle it."
They lay the disorientated casualty on the ground, but a woman screamed at them to move away from the car which was making popping sounds. The three men pulled the driver to safety, less than two minutes before the car exploded.
Mr Fuery said: "One woman was hysterical, one guy was crying, although the two guys helping me were quite calm.
"It was just so quick. Afterwards I was quite scared, I was shaking."
His proud mum Sheena Patston said today: "He called me at 1.30am on Saturday, and said 'you'll never guess what has happened.'
"I panicked and thought he'd been in an accident, but he said 'I've just pulled someone out of a burning car.'
"He was really shaken up. I was worried he could have been hurt, but Darren said he just felt he had to do something."
Police and three fire crews then arrived. A spokeswoman for the East Anglian Ambulance Trust said paramedics took the casualty to Ipswich Hospital - but not before he was able to thank Mr Fuery for saving his life.
Mr Fuery said: "He said thank you very much for what you've done, and I said 'you'd have done the same for me,' then he was on his way."
Today Mr Gordon's wife Mandy, 36, said her husband, a 37-year-old relief baker from Plover Road, had been on his way to work in Lowestoft when the crash happened.
He broke his sternum and injured an eye socket, and was today on a heart ward in hospital.
She said: "A specialist from Norwich is due to see him and see if he needs an operation. How can we say thank you for what the Good Samaritans did? All I can offer is the biggest vote of thanks."