A car salesman landed himself a bravery award from police after the heroic rescue of a stockbroker who had been test driving a McLaren 650S supercar.
37-year-old father-of-two Lee Christian was a passenger while a Warrington stockbroker was seeing what the £200,000 British supercar could do, when it veered off the A50 near High Legh Garden centre in Cheshire and hit a tree.
Mr Christian attempted twice to pull the driver out of the car, which had caught fire. Knowing the intensity of the flames was becoming too much, the hero had one last go. He managed to grab the stockbroker’s belt and arm to pull him out before draggin him 30 metres to safety.
“After we impacted with the tree, my first thought was that I was okay, but when I looked across the driver looked in very bad way. The impact had ripped off the driver’s door and there were flames in the back of the car.
“I tried to get make my escape through the passenger door but that was jammed, so I had to clamber over the stricken driver.
“The fire was so intense that it was difficult to get to him and on the third attempt I knew it was going to be now or never. I managed to grab him by his trouser belt and by an arm and with my feet against the vehicle managed to pull him out.
“What is even more surprising is that I then managed to carry him 30 metres into the field with the car behind me banging and exploding.”
Such was the impact of the crash, which happened in August 2014, the driver-side door of the 650S was completely ripped off. An air ambulance was called while six paramedics battled to keep the driver alive.
Cheshire chief constable Simon Byrne said at a presentation of the top bravery award: “It was a selfless act in an extremely perilous scenario that put Lee’s own life at risk. His actions are very much deserving of this commendation.”
Mr Christian was back at work within a month at the Canute Place McLaren dealership, having sustained a nasty cut and facial burns. The driver is said to be still recovering from various fractures and has been undergoing skin grafts.
The wife of the stockbroker expressed her thanks to Mr Christian for saving her husband’s life. “Subsequently, I had two very nice letters from the driver’s wife in which she said without my actions he would not be alive today,” he said.
Mr Christian expressed his thanks to Stockton Heath firefighters, before adding: “One of the firefighters told me it had been the single biggest accident he had attended where the crew did not have to remove bodies. That just shows how lucky we both were on that day.”
The McLaren 650S can hit 0 to 62mph in three seconds and 0 to 124mph in 8.3 seconds. It has a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 that generates 641bhp (650PS) and 500lb/ft (678Nm) of torque. Prices start from £195,250 for the Coupe model.
McLaren crashes have made the headlines in more than one instance. Mr Bean famously pulled an American businessman from a McLaren F1.
Then there was a McLaren worker who lost control and managed to end up impaled on a wooden fencepost. Curse of the 650S, perhaps?