Hero lorry driver who pulled woman from burning car before it exploded gets bravery award

A lorry driver has been given a bravery award for pulling a woman from a burning car just seconds before it exploded.

Pari Mistry, 27, was trapped inside her car after a crash on the M1 motorway in January 2019.

She was in a state of shock as flames engulfed the vehicle, which was moments away from being completely destroyed, when John Rastrick intervened.

The accident had happened in front of him and he quickly leapt from his cab and ran towards the car when he saw the fire start.

Mr Rastrick, 65, from Chesterfield, 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."

The car exploded 29 seconds after he dragged Ms Mistry away with the help of other drivers.

She was taken to hospital and spent four days in a critical care unit with a skull fracture.

Ms Mistry had an eight-hour operation and had to learn to walk and talk again, but is now on the road to recovery and has met the man who saved 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."

The pair have stayed in touch and - almost a year to the day - Ms Mistry and paramedics who attended the scene will present Mr Rastrick with an East Midlands Ambulance Service Bravery Award.

Ms Mistry, from Leicester, said: "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.

"John didn't just save my life. He saved the lives of my mum, dad and brother too."