Hero police officer clung to crashed van with bare hands to stop it falling over motorway bridge

A police officer has been dubbed a hero after single-handedly clinging on to a van that was balancing precariously over the edge of a motorway bridge to stop it from toppling below.

PC Martin Willis – known as Motorway Martin – was first on the scene after a collision which left a van teetering on the edge of the bridge with the driver trapped inside.

He managed to hold on to the wheel of the van until more emergency services arrived and freed the trapped driver as well as dragging the van to safety after the incident on Friday morning.



PC Willis, who patrols the M62 from junction 22 to 27, tweeted: “1st on the scene of this collision on the #A1M this morning and faced with a vehicle balancing over the edge of a bridge with the driver trapped!

“After holding on to the vehicle to stop it swaying in the wind I can’t begin to describe my relief when @WYFRS arrived on scene!”

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His courageous actions after the incident, which happened on the A1(M) near Leeds in icy conditions on Friday morning, have earned Pc Willis plenty of praise.

Sue Drew said: “That must’ve been a heart stopping moment!! Well done for holding on, and helping to save that drivers life. They must be very grateful to all that attended”, while ‘Kind of Subtle’ tweeted: “You sir, deserve a medal for that. Well done.”

Brave – Pc Willis clung on to the van with his bare hands to stop it falling off the motorway bridge (Pictures: SWNS)

And fellow police officer PC Adam Pace wrote: “How on earth did you manage to do all this and get a photo? Awesome work. Thank you for sharing.”

It is believed the male driver of the van lost control in icy conditions, almost careering down an embankment. He was taken to Leeds General Infirmary with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Emergency services – once fellow emergency services arrived, they dragged the van to safety

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service crews used wire ropes to drag the van to safety.

The incident left two northbound lanes of The A1(M) closed for most of the day.