'Superman' police officer holds on to van to stop it falling off bridge

Hero PC saved driver and vehicle from drop during 'terrifying' ordeal on motorway

Tom Barnes
Saturday 02 December 2017 17:36
PC Martin Willis had to grab the van to prevent it falling off the edge of a motorway bridge
PC Martin Willis had to grab the van to prevent it falling off the edge of a motorway bridge

A police officer who clung on to a van to prevent it from falling off the edge of a bridge has been branded “Superman” by his colleagues.

Motorway officer Martin Willis found the vehicle balanced precariously on a ledge with its driver trapped inside following a crash on the A1(M) in West Yorkshire on Friday morning.

PC Willis, the first member of the emergency services to reach the scene, was forced to hold on to the vehicle as it teetered on the brink until firefighters arrived to complete the rescue.

Posting on Twitter, the officer said he could not “begin to describe his relief” when help arrived.

The van was balanced precariously over the edge of the bridge

He said: “First on the scene of a collision on the A1(M) this morning and faced with a vehicle balancing over the edge of a bridge with the driver trapped.

“After holding on to the vehicle to stop it swaying in the wind I can’t begin to describe my relief when West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue arrived on scene.”

PC Willis’s heroic efforts have been saluted by both police and members of the public.

Nottinghamshire officer, PC Adam Pace, tweeted: “Your superman cape isn’t in this photo though! Must have come off in the fracas!”

Sue Drew said: “That must’ve been a heart stopping moment!! Well done for holding on, and helping to save that drivers life. They must be very grateful to all that attended.”

The van driver was freed from the vehicle and later taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where his condition was described as “serious, but not life-threatening”.

In a statement, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “Emergency services worked incredibly hard together this morning to rescue the driver of a vehicle on the A1(M).

“The male casualty is recovering in hospital after what must have been a terrifying ordeal – we wish him well.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in