Hero trucker dragged man from blazing truck

3:10pm Wednesday 21st May 2014

A trucker who dragged a fellow lorry driver from his burning cab has told of the moment he sprang into action on a motorway.

Mark Hancock, from Steeton, saw a plume of black smoke pouring from an articulated lorry which had careered off the carriageway and down a steep embankment near the junction of M62 and M180 motorways in East Yorkshire.

With the driver was still inside, the cab came to a rest just feet from a canal and the cargo of fertiliser erupted into an intense fire.

Despite the risk, Mr Hancock led rescue efforts and helped to haul the injured driver through a window as part of the cargo exploded just feet away.

Other motorists then carried the man away to safety.

Mr Hancock, who works for Halifax heavy haulage firm Collett, said: “As I came off the M62 I could see a cloud of black smoke. I stopped my vehicle and looked down. I couldn’t believe what I saw.

“Everything was on fire except the cab which was detached. I thought no way was anyone going to survive that but then suddenly I saw a hand come out of the window.

“I rushed across the motorway and down the embankment. I saw the driver – he was lying across the cab. He was shouting at me, ‘Get me out of here, get me out of here’. I think he could feel the heat,

“He was a really big bloke. I couldn’t have moved him on my own so I was fortunate I was soon joined by two more chaps.”

A group of five rescuers eventually hauled the driver clear of the cab and moved him away from danger. It is believed he escaped with a broken shoulder and cuts and bruises.

Mr Hancock’s boss, Phil Sutcliffe, praised his actions.

He said: “He’s one of our top drivers. He’s a great ambassador for our company. It’s tremendous what he’s done. He’s a very quiet and reserved individual. We're very proud of him and he deserves some recognition.”

It is believed the crash on May 8 was caused by a blow out on one of the lorry tyres and resulted in massive traffic disruption.

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