Hero van driver dragged man from burning car after it flipped onto its roof in motorway crash

Bournemouth Echo: SMASH: The scene of the overturned car on the M271 near Southampton SMASH: The scene of the overturned car on the M271 near Southampton

A HEROIC van driver helped a man from his burning car after it spun out of control and overturned near Southampton on Saturday January 25.

Andy Brown, a recovery vehicle operator from Wimborne, was driving behind the silver Peugeot on the M271 when he heard a loud popping sound and saw a flash of flames from underneath the vehicle.

The 34-year-old was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the car, driven by 23-year-old Sam Stainton, as it spun and rolled across the southbound carriageway, ending up on its roof.

He said it seemed to happen in slow motion.

“The car started spinning across the road and I had to brake hard to avoid being involved myself, it was very frightening,” he said.

Quick-thinking Mr Brown activated the lights on his van to warn drivers behind, and on stopping near the wreckage he ran over with a fire extinguisher to douse the flames issuing from the car's underside.

“I didn't know what to do, I was worried the car might explode, but the adrenaline kicked in and I had to check if there were children in there,” he said.

“There was fuel pouring out everywhere, but he was climbing out, I was amazed.

“He was disorientated but I managed to drag him back to my van, and I went to check there was no one else before reversing to a safe distance.”

Mr Brown, who lives with his partner Angela Carlin and five children, looked after Mr Stainton until the emergency services arrived.

“I have had some experience of emergencies from working as an RNLI co-ordinator on Bournemouth beach, but that is the closest I have been to being involved in a crash,” he added.

Mr Stainton, from Hampshire, suffered only minor whiplash in the crash, thought to have been caused by a tyre blow-out. He said he was “lucky to be alive” and praised Mr Brown for fighting the fire.

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: "This was quick thinking by the member of the public who helped the man get out of his car and put the fire out. It could have easily been much worse.

“We’re keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the crash and would urge them to call the Totton Roads Policing Unit on 101."

Comments (11)

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2:09pm Sat 1 Feb 14

60plus says...

Why in news now when it happened in January
Why in news now when it happened in January 60plus
  • Score: -26

2:41pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Bluesea1 says...

60plus wrote:
Why in news now when it happened in January
1) Because they are appealing for witnesses
2) January was only last week!
3) Why not highlight this selfless act of bravery?!
[quote][p][bold]60plus[/bold] wrote: Why in news now when it happened in January[/p][/quote]1) Because they are appealing for witnesses 2) January was only last week! 3) Why not highlight this selfless act of bravery?! Bluesea1
  • Score: 27

3:05pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Ayles 10 says...

Well done Andy for your quick thinking and actions!
Well done Andy for your quick thinking and actions! Ayles 10
  • Score: 24

3:37pm Sat 1 Feb 14

JohnnyGeeGee says...

60plus wrote:
Why in news now when it happened in January
The accident happened last Saturday (25th Jan) on the M271.

With burning fuel at the scene of the crash, Andy's selfless actions in putting out the fire, dragging the driver out of his upside down car, obviously saved the driver's life! Then he goes back to check if there are any other passengers in the car!

A very brave guy who deserves some official recognition or commendation from the Police and/or the Emergency Services, for his heroic actions! Well done!
[quote][p][bold]60plus[/bold] wrote: Why in news now when it happened in January[/p][/quote]The accident happened last Saturday (25th Jan) on the M271. With burning fuel at the scene of the crash, Andy's selfless actions in putting out the fire, dragging the driver out of his upside down car, obviously saved the driver's life! Then he goes back to check if there are any other passengers in the car! A very brave guy who deserves some official recognition or commendation from the Police and/or the Emergency Services, for his heroic actions! Well done! JohnnyGeeGee
  • Score: 30

4:33pm Sat 1 Feb 14

oversixty says...

Well done Andy! Very brave!
Well done Andy! Very brave! oversixty
  • Score: 10

4:39pm Sat 1 Feb 14

madras says...

someone buy that man a beer!
someone buy that man a beer! madras
  • Score: 14

6:36pm Sat 1 Feb 14

funkyferret says...

“We’re keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the crash and would urge them to call the Totton Roads Policing Unit on 101."

Why? are they considering further action against the driver? Do they not already have a thoroughly detailed, reliable & comprehensive account?
“We’re keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the crash and would urge them to call the Totton Roads Policing Unit on 101." Why? are they considering further action against the driver? Do they not already have a thoroughly detailed, reliable & comprehensive account? funkyferret
  • Score: 6

7:46pm Sat 1 Feb 14

The Cerne Giant says...

Well done that Man . . . . must be a hero in the rescued driver's nearest and dearest
Well done that Man . . . . must be a hero in the rescued driver's nearest and dearest The Cerne Giant
  • Score: 6

7:54pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Old Colonial says...

More 'Breaking News' from the Echo! Perhaps is the start of making it a weekly publication.
More 'Breaking News' from the Echo! Perhaps is the start of making it a weekly publication. Old Colonial
  • Score: 0

5:35am Sun 2 Feb 14

roguetrader666 says...

So he didn't drag the bloke out of the car. He got himself out. The word 'heroic' gets bandied about for being public spirited again.
So he didn't drag the bloke out of the car. He got himself out. The word 'heroic' gets bandied about for being public spirited again. roguetrader666
  • Score: -5

10:20am Mon 3 Feb 14

hamworthygirl says...

roguetrader666 wrote:
So he didn't drag the bloke out of the car. He got himself out. The word 'heroic' gets bandied about for being public spirited again.
He could have just left him and as the police said had he not acted quickly and doused the fire things would have been very different. Its not his fault the echo posted such a headline, he actually said he dragged the man to his van after he climbed from the car. Whichever way you read it his quick think not only saved that man but averted more accidents by putting out the fire and ensuring other drivers were aware of danger.I would happily buy him several beers well done that man.
[quote][p][bold]roguetrader666[/bold] wrote: So he didn't drag the bloke out of the car. He got himself out. The word 'heroic' gets bandied about for being public spirited again.[/p][/quote]He could have just left him and as the police said had he not acted quickly and doused the fire things would have been very different. Its not his fault the echo posted such a headline, he actually said he dragged the man to his van after he climbed from the car. Whichever way you read it his quick think not only saved that man but averted more accidents by putting out the fire and ensuring other drivers were aware of danger.I would happily buy him several beers well done that man. hamworthygirl
  • Score: 3

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