Hero cop Michael Garner is being honoured for saving a man trapped in a blazing car on the M62.
He risked his life at the scene of the motorway horror crash in Huddersfield to pull a driver trapped in the wreckage of his upturned and blazing car to safety.
Now Pc Garner has been awarded a top national bravery honour by Royal approval.
The 47-old officer, who serves with West Yorkshire Police’s motorway unit, is to receive a Royal Humane Society testimonial on vellum personally signed and approved by Princess Alexandra the Society’s president.
PC Garner was on traffic patrol heading east along the motorway when he spotted a vehicle on its roof in lane three in the opposite lane. He drove to junction 25 then doubled back to reach the stricken vehicle which was by this time full of smoke and on fire.
Despite the risk of the vehicle exploding PC Garner, who had already called the emergency services, went to the Peugeot car and managed to force the door open. Inside he found the driver, a soldier based at Catterick, lying semi-conscious on the roof of the upturned car and trapped by his feet.
PC Garner managed to free him and then dragged him from the car and gave him a ‘fireman’s lift’ to get him away from the burning vehicle. He then returned to check that there was no-one else in the vehicle.
Initially it was feared that driver had a broken leg and head injuries but in the end his injuries turned out to be superficial.
In addition to the award he is to receive PC Garner has also won the personal praise of Dick Wilkinson, Secretary of the Royal Humane Society.
As he announced the award at the Society’s London headquarters he said : “Put simply PC Garner was the right person in the right place at the right time. He was on the spot rapidly and put his own personal safety aside to approach this burning vehicle and rescue the man trapped inside.
“It takes enormous courage to approach a burning vehicle, which could explode at any moment but he didn’t hesitate. Not only that, after he had managed to get the driver to safety he then returned to the vehicle to check there was no-one else inside. He’s a true hero and richly deserves the award he is to receive.”
The roots of the Royal Humane Society stretch back more than two centuries. Its president is Princess Alexandra and it is the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life.
It was founded in 1774 by two of the day’s eminent medical men, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan. Their primary motive was to promote techniques of resuscitation.