Moment hero lorry driver pulls woman from burning car seconds before it explodes
This is the heart-stopping moment a hero lorry driver dragged a young woman from a burning car – seconds before it exploded into a huge fireball.
John Rastrick, 65, was driving his HGV northbound on the M1 on January 17 last year when two cars crashed just yards in front of him.
Dramatic dashcam footage recorded on his lorry shows one of the cars engulf in flames in the middle lane while the other car is stalled at the central barrier.
John, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, leaps out of his cab and sprints towards the driver seat of the burning car following the smash.
He yanks open the driver’s door and drags terrified Pari Mistry, 27, to safety just moments before the petrol tank exploded.
The car turns into a fireball within a minute after John pulled Mrs Mistry clear of the flaming wreckage.
John was praised for his life-saving actions and was rewarded with an East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) Bravery Award by the ambulance crew.
Recalling the incident, John said: “I saw her car spin two or three times when another car collided with her and her vehicle immediately set on fire.
“I just knew at that moment that there was no one else around to help and I had to do what was right.
“I hoped to God that whoever was in the car had got out, but when I saw Pari in there, I put all my fears aside and tried to pull her out.”
The pair have remained in contact since the crash and are now friends.
John added: "To know how far Pari has come in just one year since the accident is so amazing to see."
Mrs Mistry, of Leicester, had been on her way to meet her husband for dinner when she collided with another car.
She spent four days in a critical care unit at Coventry and Walsgrave General Hospital with a skull fracture.
There she underwent an eight-hour operation on her skull and had to learn to walk and talk again.
However, she is now on the road to recovery and was delighted to have the opportunity to thank John for saving her life.
She said: "I don’t remember much from the incident, apart from what I have been told but I know I immediately thought I was going to die.
"For my family, this incident was especially hard as we are all really close.
"With their support and help, I was able to persevere with my recovery and say thank you to John in my own words.
"Being able to say thank you to John and the crew for what they did means so much, I never thought I would get the chance.
"John didn’t just save my life. He saved the lives of my mum, dad and brother too."
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