BRAVERY awards have been given to two men who saved the life of a driver who smashed her car off a bridge and plunged upside down into the River Dee, trapping her inside.
Quick-thinking Matt Roberts, the first member of the public to be given a police authority commendation, was in the kitchen of his Aldford home when he heard a loud bang and leapt into action.
The Chester Aid to the Homeless manager risked his own life by jumping in to the freezing, 6ft-deep water of the river.
Cheshire police sergeant John Forshaw was next on the scene, seeing the submerged car with only its rear wing visible and the driver trapped.
Speaking at the time of the crash last June, he said: “When I first arrived I thought the worst. The driver’s side of the car was fully under the water but a member of the public was already in the water, holding her head above the surface.”
The pair set about securing the smashed car, which was leaking petrol and oil, and battled to keep the 24-year-old’s female above the water, using plastic tubing so she could breath.
Matt said: “We forced the car’s back door open and we could she see was seriously hurt. I could hear groaning noises. She was upside down and near enough submerged.
“We pulled her from the front to the back of the car because I was concerned it was going to sink further into the brook.”
Margaret Ollerenshaw, chairman of Cheshire Police Authority, said: “This type of action restores one’s faith in human nature.
“Both men demonstrated considerable bravery and presence of mind. Their selfless conduct is justly deserving of a police authority commendation and it is the first time that a member of the public has been recognised with such an award.”