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Mates awarded for saving a life

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May 19, 2018 by admin

Heroes: Friends Brad Tuckwell of Narellan Vale (left) and Mount Annan’s Jason Tippett received a Commendation for Brave Conduct this week after they saved a man from a burning truck in Picton last year (pictured below). FRIDAY, June 24 last year was an ordinary afternoon for mates Jason Tippett and Brad Tuckwell as they returned home from work.
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That was until they rounded a bend on Picton Road at Cataract and saw something normally reserved for the set of a Hollywood action movie.

A truck had overturned and was alight, the flames licking the side of road as the pair contemplated driving past.

“I yelled at Brad ‘Stop, I think someone’s in there’,” said Mr Tippett of Mount Annan.

The men jumped a concrete barrier to reach the burning truck.

Mr Blackwell tried to smash the windscreen with his hands to free the trapped driver while Mr Tippett raced to find an implement to hasten the job.

When they finally succeeded, they pulled the dazed driver first by his boots, then by the back of his pants, from the wreckage. Seconds later, the truck was engulfed by flames.

For their “heroic actions”, the pair received a Commendation for Brave Conduct from Governor-General Quentin Bryce on Monday.

“Just knowing he was in there, at the back of my mind I knew what could go wrong and I didn’t want to witness that,” Mr Tippett said.

“Afterwards we sat back and looked at it and thought what if the flames were under the truck?”

Mr Tuckwell, of Narellan Vale, was treated at the scene for cuts to his hand, sustained as he tried to smash the windscreen.

“It was strange because none of it seemed real at the time,” he said.

“I was just in a hurry to get home because I was going to the footy that night.”

He said it was only that night, as he relayed the events to family and friends, that he appreciated the enormity of what had occurred.

“He had no way of getting out of there,” Mr Tuckwell said of the trapped driver. “I’m glad it was all good in the end.”

Mr Tippett said: “You can’t explain your reaction at the time. It’s all instinct and adrenalin.”

The pair said they were grateful that a police officer on the scene nominated them for a bravery decoration and were “excited” when confirmation of their award came last week.

“We weren’t looking for it or expecting it but it’s nice to get it,” Mr Tuckwell said.

Mr Tippett and Mr Tuckwell will be invested with their insignias by Ms Bryce at Government House later this year.

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