Praise showered on local hero who pulled driver from burning car

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A trapped driver was freed from a burning car just moments before the vehicle exploded in a ball of

flames.

Brave rescuer Matthew Robertson described the dramatic scenes as “like an episode of Casualty” after he risked his life to pull a stranger from the flaming wreck.

The car became engulfed after a horrific crash on the B979 South Deeside Road on February 17, which has left two people, including a teenager, in hospital with serious inuries.

The 23-year-old from Deeside, who has been commended for his heroics, recalled the moment he risked life and limb as he pulled the man from the fireball and attempted to rescue the female driver of the other vehicle.

Local man Matthew was driving to Aberdeen with his mother to pick up his own car which had been at the garage for repairs when he came across the scene of the accident.

The Ford Ka and a blue Ford Fiesta collided about 200 metres west of the Deeside Holiday Park, resulting in the Ka catching fire.

Matthew said: “We arrived and there was a lady there already. She was waving her hands around and ran up to the window and said there’s been a huge accident and the car’s on fire and the guy is still in it. I was in the car with my mum at the time.

“The whole front of the car was on fire. I rammed the door open and the car was buckled over the guy’s feet. I got his feet out and dragged him out the car then called to the woman and my mum that we needed to get him away.

“It just exploded when we got him 50 metres from the car. It was like an episode of Casualty. He was in a pretty bad state.

“My mum and the other lady looked after the guy and got him a blanket and I went over to the other car to get the woman out. She was screaming at the time.”

The other woman at the scene, who is unnamed, praised Matthew’s bravery.

She said: “There were three of us there.

‘‘Matthew threw himself into the footwell and the three of us dragged the young man out.

‘‘ The other girl and I could not have done it without Matthew. He managed to get him away before the car exploded.”

After getting the male driver away from the burning vehicle, Matthew turned his attentions to the female driver of the blue Ford Fiesta.

Matthew said: “On the road I could see a trail of fire and it was creeping towards the woman in the other car.

I couldn’t get her door open but she was screaming “help me”.

“I took a post from the field nearby and tried to jam it in the door and started trying to smash the window.

‘‘Then another man came and he started trying to kick the window. At that point the emergency services arrived and took over. The fire was only about a metre away from her car.”

Matthew was taken to hospital by the ambulance team as a precaution.

He said: “I felt OK but when I was trying to get the guy’s belt off it was really smokey in the car. I felt like I was tasting blood so the paramedics said they would take me to hospital.

“I am so glad I was there because, hopefully, I have helped save the guy’s life.”

A 19-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with serious injuries following the collision at approximately 10pm.

Both drivers remain in hospital with serious injuries.

Police Scotland are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the collision or seen the vehicles prior to the collision taking place.

Officers would also like to appeal for the driver of a dark coloured 4x4 vehicle with a personalised registration, in the area at the time and travelling west, to contact them. The driver may have seen something which could be relevant to police enquiries.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.