A LORRY driver has been commended for saving the life of an elderly man after he helped pull him out of his car 20 seconds before it burst into flames.

Lorry driver Christopher White, 47, from Twyn-YFfald, Cefn Fforest, was driving on the A68 near Darlington on Wednesday, October 12 last year, when he came across an accident involving two vehicles, one of which was in a ditch.

He stopped his lorry and got out to see what was happening, and he, along with another man, went down to the car in the ditch.

They saw an elderly man was trapped in the vehicle and they went down to pull him out of the car.

Just 20 seconds after they had taken the man to safety the car was alight.

Mr White, a father of one, said: “I didn’t really think about it at the time.

“It’s just something that you do.

“When we had taken the man to safety I just got in my lorry and drove off.”

He carried on with life as normal and was surprised to get a letter in the post stating that he was getting a citation from Durham Constabulary for his actions on that day.

He said: “I was surprised to get anything.

“I didn’t want any thanks for what I and the other man did.

“It was just something that we did. I received a card of thanks from the elderly gentleman, which was very nice. I was gobsmacked when I was contacted about this award.

“I feel very privileged to have received this award.”

Mr White’s award was passed on to Gwent Police, where Chief Constable Carmel Napier presented it.

She said: “It gives me great pleasure to present an award to a member of the public who has gone above and beyond what would be expected and in circumstances that put their personal safety at risk to save the life of another.”