Brave dad saves two in A27 car crash fire

Daniel MacDiarmid and his son 'Shrimpy'
Daniel MacDiarmid and his son 'Shrimpy'

A father has spoken about his experience of pulling two people out of a burning car after a crash on the A27.

A 12-year-old girl was among those seriously injured in the two-car crash between Beddingham and the A2270 Polegate ByPass junction on September 6.

Daniel MacDiarmid, 32, pulled two men to safety from a red Renault Megane that was on fire.

The handyman was driving his eight-year-old son Daniel, nicknamed Shrimpy, back from BMX practice, when the traffic slowed and the accident came into view about nine cars ahead.

It was clear there were people in both cars, one of which had burst into flames.

“I was thinking ‘I’ve got to get them out right now’,” said Daniel, who told his son to wait in the car before going to the burning vehicle.

He was able to pull the half-conscious driver out through the car window but the passenger, who had face injuries and was described as covered in blood, was delirious and wanted to stay in the car.

“I knew the car was going to blow up,” Daniel said.

Luckily another driver came over and helped him pull the passenger from the car, which was soon completely consumed by flames.

Daniel then helped passengers in the second car, a Toyota Auris, including the 12-year-old girl who was later taken to hospital with a broken leg and fractured pelvis, and a 10-year-old girl who sustained a broken thumb.

“I have really felt emotional since,” the father, from South Chailey, said, “People just don’t want to risk anything anymore. I thought, it could have been us. I’d never forgive myself if I’d sat back.”

On the way home Daniel’s son said, “Dad, you’re a real superhero.”

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