There’s no greater example of being in the right place at the right time than when a British police officer came across the scene of a multi-vehicle accident.
PC Martin Willis, who has 10 years of law enforcement experience, was the first to arrive on the scene of a car accident when he noticed a van was dangerously teetering on a guardrail.
“I was so frightened it was going to go over the edge the way it was rocking,” Willis told the BBC.
Willis was on patrol when he came across a potentially life-threatening situation.
— Motorway Martin (@WYP_PCWILLIS) October 30, 2017
That morning before 6 am, West Yorkshire Police received a call about a collision. Willis responded to the call and discovered the van and its driver in desperate need of help.
“Every time a lorry went by I could see the van sway and I just thought, ‘It’s right over the A64. If this van goes over it will kill the driver.'” Willis said in a press release from West Yorkshire Police. “Of course you’re also thinking, ‘Any minute now, something is going to come on the hard shoulder and hit me!'”
When Willis arrived on the scene he acted quickly.
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 desribe my relief when @WYFRS arrived on scene! pic.twitter.com/E8ilktlOl7
— Motorway Martin (@WYP_PCWILLIS) December 1, 2017
To stop the van from falling over the barrier the officer grabbed onto the rear wheel with his bare hands and leaned backwards.
The police officer used his bare hands to stop the van from falling.
Willis, who insisted multiple times on Twitter that he was “only doing my job,” held onto the van’s rear wheel for about 15 minutes while his colleagues closed the road and quickly worked to stabilize the vehicle.
“I told the victim not to panic and said, ‘We’re going to get you out of there. Whatever you do, don’t move,'” he recalled.
He held onto the vehicle for 15 minutes while emergency crews worked to secure the van.
Emergency services worked incredibly hard together this morning to rescue the driver of this vehicle on the A1 (M). The male casualty is recovering in hospital after what must have been a terrifying ordeal – we wish him well. @YorkshireHart @WYP_RPU @YorksAmbulance pic.twitter.com/vNfQ6gW9Ma
— West Yorkshire Fire (@WYFRS) December 1, 2017
Because of Willis’ quick and brave action, emergency crews were able to rescue the driver of the van. The driver was then transported to the hospital where he received treatment for “serious leg injuries.”
If it hadn’t been for Willis things could have turned out very differently.
The officer was grateful for all the recognition he has received since his heroic action, but insists that what he did was no different than what “thousands of emergency workers” do every day.
“It was quiet a scary situation, but this is the reality of the job we do,” he said. “Sometimes you do have to take risks, and if you need to help someone, you need to help them.”