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FIREBALL SUPER HERO; EXCLUSIVE Para bends car door with bare hands to save woman.

Byline: By Donna Watson

A PARA who helped rescue hostage Brit soldiers in Sierra Leone was revealed last night as the hero of an M-way fireball drama.

Scot Steven Wilson, 32, performed a superhuman feat to rescue a woman from a blazing car.

He bent the wrecked motor's metal door frame with his bare hands to pull her to safety with seconds to spare.

His heroics came eight years after Steven, of Dumfries, rescued soldiers captured by guerrillas.

Last night, he said: "Most Army boys will tell you we don't think about it until afterwards. We just get in there and do what needs to be done."

Police hailed Steven a hero after he rescued the woman on the busy M6 near Charnock Richard, Lancashire, on Saturday.

Steven, who now works in a plastics factory, last night told how his Army training kicked in as soon as he saw the flames.

He was returning home from a family wedding with girlfriend Kristy Airlie and her mum, Hazel, when they saw the accident happening ahead.

The Record told yesterday how a 54-year-old woman was trapped inside a Rover 25 after crashing with a Peugeot which was towing another car.

Steven said: "We got out to see what we could do, when I noticed the trickle of liquid towards the car which was on fire and working towards the car.

"I knew there was a lady inside the car and could see the car was about to burst into flames. My immediate reaction was just to get her out.

"I didn't know what kind of condition she was in but all I could think of was getting her out.

"When I got to the car, she was shouting, 'Please get me out', and I assured her I wasn't going anywhere.

"The passenger side was engulfed in flames and there were still cars speeding by but I had to run across the motorway to get to the car.

"The driver-side rear door was against the barrier and we couldn't get in there. And the driver's door had a huge bash in it and was jammed shut, so we couldn't get the window down either.

"The only thing I could think to do was to grab the metal frame and bend it down until there was room to drag her out.

"Flames were already starting to make their way through the footwell of the car by then.

"We had to get away as quickly as we could and across the motorway again.

"The police and fire service arrived a short time later by which time she would have been burned alive.

"I just did what any decent human being would have."

The rescued woman, who is from Lancaster, was last night being treated in Royal Preston Hospital for head injuries.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: "He saved this woman's life.

"After the car's fuel tank exploded, there was nothing left of the car. It was just a shell. The heat had welded it to the tarmac."

Eight years ago in Sierra Leone, squaddie Steven was part of a crack team led by the SAS who rescued members of the Royal Irish Guard held by the West Side Boys gang.

He received a medical discharge after being injured by shrapnel from abomb during the daring raid.

'The passenger side was engulfed in flames and there were cars speeding by'

CAPTION(S):

MY HERO: Steven with Kristy and, far left, in the Paras. Inset, the crashed car he dragged the woman from
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 16, 2008
Words:590
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