A brave Doncaster soldier has been hailed a hero after saving a woman from a mangled car wreck that was about to burst into flames.
Private Andrew Ross, who was stationed in Cyprus with 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, used a fire extinguisher on the smoking vehicle before helping his colleague drag the 19-year-old driver to safety.
The 32-year-old, from central Doncaster, sprung into action after witnessing the car career into a ditch while driving on the motorway close to Limassol.
Private Andrew Ross said: “I saw a car about five cars in front of me. It just shot from the fast lane to the slow lane and back into the fast lane and then just veered straight off the road into a ditch and through about 50 metres of trees and bushes and then just landed on its side.
“I pulled up and jumped out and grabbed the fire extinguisher because it was smoking like it was about to catch fire so I ran round the front to extinguish it.”
His colleague Scott Rodham tried to open the car door but the vehicle was so mangled he had to smash the window.
The pair then dragged the woman – who amazingly escaped with just cuts and bruises – from the car.
Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Bassingham-Searle said: “Casualty extraction from vehicles is something that the soldiers will have been trained in, particularly the guys involved in this incident, and trained to do it safely.
“They saw that the car was on fire and potentially was going to explode and therefore got the person out as fast as they could.”
Private Ross has been based in Cyprus for two years with his wife Nicola and nine-year-old daughter Chloe.
Nicola, 28, said: “I’d like to say how proud our daughter and myself are of him an we will always continue to support him in the army.”
The regiment’s role in Cyprus is as a reserve battalion on 24-hour standby to be deployed anywhere in the world.