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Hero lorry driver 'risked his life' to save pensioner from burning car wreck

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burning to death after a car crash has been hailed as a 'true hero'Robert Kirk, 48, leapt from his cab to smash the vehicle's window with his fist before bending a buckled door with 'brute force' to get to a trapped pensioner.On the morning of January 19 Mr Kirk had been driving in his HGV behind retired bus driver Bernard Hopwood, 81, when he witnessed Mr Hopwood's Ford Focus plough into the back of a tractor's trailer.READ MORE: Restaurant worker's burns prevented from worsening by colleagues using sprinklersThe tractor had pulled up with mechanical issues, at Werrington in Staffordshire, and Mr Hopwood's vehicle didn't appear to brake before the collision.Realising the driver had to be freed from a now burning vehicle, Mr Kirk ignored the risk to himself of an explosion and smashed the driver's window with his fist then bent the door back enough to pull the driver out of the car before the flames reached him.

Mr Kirk, who is also a Regimental Sgt Major Instructor with the Army Cadet Force at Driffield, has now been awarded one of the country’s top bravery honours for his fight to save the 81-year-old car driver.His heroics didn't stop there as he then administered first aid on the spot until paramedics arrived and took over.To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.Sadly, despite all their efforts Mr Hopwood, 81, had been critically injured and died at the scene of the crash.Now though, in recognition of his bravery in his fight to save the man Mr Kirk has been awarded a Royal Humane Society Testimonial on Parchment, receiving personal praise of its secretary, Andrew Chapman, in the process.“He ignored the danger to himself to go and try and rescue the driver.

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