Pc Robert Condy-Young awarded for Shaldon crash rescue

A police officer from Devon has been awarded for his gallantry after he rescued a woman from a car that was about to be engulfed in flames.

Pc Robert Condy-Young, 35, from Teignmouth, received the Royal Humane Society Police Medal for his actions after a car crash near Shaldon in 2009.

He was presented with his medal earlier by HRH Princess Alexandra.

The society said Mr Condy-Young showed "tremendous courage" by climbing inside the burning car.

Mr Condy-Young, a former Royal Marine who has been a police officer for four years, said: "When I first got there I couldn't see the woman was in the car.

"She was unconscious and the flames were about a foot above the engine block and I knew I needed to get her out.

"It was a choice between getting her out or her possibly burning to death.

"I tried to drag her towards me but she was trapped by the feet, I wasn't going to leave her in there.

"I even felt for the small knife that we carry on our belts and looked to see if it was possible for me to amputate her feet.

"I know it sounds drastic but that's what went through my mind."

With the help of a passer-by Mr Condy-Young managed to free the woman, who had suffered neck injuries in the crash.

He then arrested the driver of the car, who had walked away from the crash unscathed, without dialling 999, and returned to the scene to watch the rescue.

The driver was later jailed for three years after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving.

Dick Wilkinson, the Royal Humane Society secretary, said: "Pc Condy-Young showed tremendous courage and selflessness in climbing inside this car, which could have exploded at any moment.

"But for his bravery, the trapped woman might not have survived.

"Not only did he manage to save her life, but he then went on to pursue and arrest the suspected driver of the vehicle who had left the scene."

Mr Condy-Young said: "There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think about what happened and if I did the right things, but, given the circumstances again, I know I would act in exactly the same way."

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