Hero Lance wins bravery award

Sports firm boss rescued woman from blazing car

A hero who rescued a woman from a blazing car has won a top award recognising his bravery.

Lance Haggith, who runs Luton-based sports bag and luggage specialist M1 Sports, received a prestigious Royal Humane Society award in Chelmsford. But the modest father-of-four says he was just acting on instinct.

He was travelling on the M25 in Essex with sons Reiss, ten, Connor, eight, and Ellis, six, on November 8 last year.

A Peugeot 205 GTi passed him on the centre lane when it swerved to avoid another car, careered into gravel on the hard shoulder, flipped into the air and rolled down a bank and back onto the motorway.

Mr Haggith, who was on his way to a family fireworks display, stopped and ran to the crumpled vehicle, which had smoke billowing from the engine.

He bent down the driver's window frame as the door was jammed, but could not pull the semi-conscious motorist free because her foot was trapped under the clutch.

He forced his way into the passenger side and despite smoke, released her foot and seatbelt before returning to the driver's window to drag her out.

The 42-year-old, who lives in Bromham, carried the victim to the verge while others tackled the blaze with extinguishers, and she was taken to hospital with head injuries, a broken collar bone and wrist.

He said: "There was smoke coming in the footwell and it was choking. I was worried the car was going to go up.

"But it was just an instinctive reaction. I went into automatic mode the main thing was to get her out."

Mr Haggith later received a grateful phone call from the victim's family followed by an invitation to a meal.

08.10.02