How heroic onlookers rescued victims from St Albans car inferno

PUBLISHED: 08:39 04 August 2016 | UPDATED: 08:39 04 August 2016

Sandpit Lane collision in St Albans.

Sandpit Lane collision in St Albans.

David Turner

Onlookers who dragged two drivers from their burning vehicles on Monday (1) have been praised for their life-saving actions.

At about 5.15pm two cars crashed on Sandpit Lane in St Albans at the junction with Damson Way.

One car, a Citroen C1, caught fire and subsequently the other car and surrounding trees caught alight.

Within minutes of the collision two onlookers helped to release the drivers, one of whom is a 60-year-old man who is currently still in hospital with serious injuries.

Crew commander Julian Tasker, of St Albans Fire Station, who arrived at the scene soon after the drivers were rescued, said: “In my operational experience the actions of the public moving people out of the vehicles undoubtedly saved their lives.”

One witness, who did not want to be named, told the Herts Advertiser that he was about 10 cars away when the accident happened and saw the aftermath unfold.

He also said that the members of the public saved the drivers’ lives, adding: “Thank God they got to their cars so quickly.”

The two men were hospitalised at Watford General Hospital and Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

The wife of the 60-year-old told the Herts Advertiser he was still in hospital as of Tuesday.

She said: “We are extremely grateful; they must have been very brave to do what they did.”

Firefighters from St Albans station began tackling the blaze, which was ‘well alight’ when they got there, with hose reels.

Crew commander Tasker said the engine then ruptured and foam was used to stop a ‘running’ fire down the road.

The witness said the blaze was put out in about 20 minutes from the fire service’s arrival.

Police closed the road until about 8.15pm.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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