A47 East Winch: Students pulled dying victim from car

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Media captionStudents preparing for careers in the emergency services witnessed the crash

Students preparing for careers in the emergency services pulled a dying man from a burning car after a crash.

The man and his parents were killed when their Kia Ceed collided with a lorry on the A47 at East Winch, Norfolk, on Wednesday.

A minibus carrying 12 teenagers and three teachers from East Norfolk Sixth Form College was behind the car.

The victims have been named as Jeffrey Hain, 66, his wife Marion, 69, and son Christopher, 36, from Newhey, Rochdale.

Police are still trying to find their next-of-kin.

Mr Hain was a lay reader at St Thomas' church in the Lancashire village.

The Bishop of Middleton, the Rt Revd Mark Davies, said in a tribute: "The family were a much-loved part of the church and will be missed enormously.

"Special prayers will be said at the Eucharist service on Sunday at which the family would normally have been present."

College students ran to help the family following the crash, despite their minibus being hit in the aftermath.

"I'm so proud of them - they didn't fold, they just helped," said Neil White, who was driving the minibus.

He said the car appeared to fail to turn at a bend in the road, "bouncing off the lorry" as it headed towards them.

Image caption Teacher Neil White said the tragedy had made him and his students closer

Christopher Hain was in the back of the car and was struggling to get out as smoke billowed from the engine, he added.

Student Louis Cook said: "We thought if this does catch fire we are going to have a lot more casualties than what we have already.

"We decided to get the guy out of the back - he was conscious at the time - move him away from the situation and hopefully try and save his life but unfortunately we didn't."

'Very emotional'

The students, aged 17 to 19 and studying public services, had been en route to a course in the Peak District.

"We had sleeping bags and mattresses so the students got those out for the man," said Mr White.

They put him in the recovery position and gave him first aid before the emergency services arrived, but his condition quickly deteriorated and he died at the scene.

The group was unable to get to the couple, who were in the front of the car and were pronounced dead at the scene.

The lorry driver suffered minor injuries.

Image caption The crash happened close to the Carpenter's Arms pub at East Winch

"The students weren't asked to do anything, they just did it and it was commendable," said Mr White.

"We're a lot closer now, just because of what happened in that 20 minutes.

"It was very emotional."

The students returned to the college in Gorleston, near Great Yarmouth, where parents and counsellors were waiting.

Image caption A 15-mile stretch of the A47 was closed for about eight hours

Police praise

Insp Bruce Gent, from Norfolk Police, said: "It was clearly a very distressing and traumatic scene but they responded courageously to do what they could for those people who were dying, before emergency services arrived.

"I understand one student even got inside the car to try to offer reassurance and first aid."

Mr White said while teachers and students on the course are taking some rest, most of them had congregated at the college.

"It's a time when you learn a lot about yourself," he said.

"I've spoken to one of the young girls who helped and she said she definitely wants to be a paramedic after what happened."

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