December 17, 2013
Long standing member of the LTDA, John Ward, has been handed the high-status Hitch Award for Bravery by the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers (WCHCD) in recognition of his act of bravery in September 2010.
On September 9th 2010, John was making his way home on the busy A13 Eastbound after a hard days work when he came across a horrific accident between two vehicles.
Without hesitation John positioned his hackney taxi across the lanes, while cars sped past at 70mph, in order to block the road and stop any further collisions from occurring.
The 63-year-old cabbie could see smoke coming from the vehicles and noticed a strong smell of petrol. Despite knowing that either vehicle could blow up at any moment, he continued in his efforts to save those trapped inside.
He heroically pulled a young woman from the wreckage of the first vehicle and flagged down a fellow cabbie to help close off the rest of the road before emergency services arrived.
Unfortunately, the door of the second vehicle was so badly crushed that, despite his best efforts, John was unable to get the door open. Sadly the male in the second vehicle later died from his injuries.
John, of Westcliffe-on-Sea, said: “It was a complete surprise to get the award. It was outstanding and a bit overwhelming to be honest.”
Judge Commends Actions
It’s not often that a judge will offer praise to a witness in court but Her Honourable Judge, Patricia Lees, commended John for his extreme bravery as he told the court what he had witnessed on that fateful day.