Honington airmen receive national awards

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Five airmen who saved the life of a badly injured man and helped prevent further casualties following a horror motorway crash are to receive top national awards.

FO Edward Beckingham, Cpl Richard Dodds, Cpl Christopher Harvey, Cpl Adrian Lowndes, Cpl Ian Ramsay, all based at RAF Honington, have been awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Certificate of Commendation.

The quintet have been recognised for their actions on November 27 last year, when two cars had a minor collision on the M50 westbound.

One of the vehicles had come to rest at a 45 degree angle to the central barrier - only for another car to come over the crest of the hill and hit the stranded car.

It was propelled another 30 metres before leaving the carriageway and embedding itself in trees on an embankment.

A witness who had entered the lane on foot to help was also hit and sent through the air, landing on an opposite carriageway.

Dick Wilkinson, the society’s secretary, said the five airmen were passing by and stopped to help.

“Cpl Lowndes, Cpl Dodds and Cpl Harvey rushed to the car in the trees and helped the occupants out and up the embankment.

“FO Beckingham took charge of the situation, directing traffic round the incident and ensuring communications with the emergency services.

“All four then ran to the other car but spotted the injured man on the other carriageway.

“Despite the oncoming rush-hour traffic, they raced to his aid, lifting him over the central barrier seconds before vehicles passed,” he said.

The men then applied first aid until paramedics arrived.

The injured man suffered fractures to his arms, a leg and pelvis as well as deep lacerations to his head.

Mr Wilkinson said: “The bravery of these servicemen saved him from further injury, and probable death.

“Their actions in getting him to safety may well have averted disaster, and prevented many other drivers from becoming involved in this horrific accident. They richly deserve their awards.”

No date has been fixed for the presentation.