TWO drivers helped save a pilot and passengers from a burning plane after it crashed on a busy dual carriageway.
Former bomb disposal officer Joel Snarr, 35, and Daniel Nicholson, 46, slammed on their car brakes and raced to help on the A40 near Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, yesterday.
Witnesses said a section of the light aircraft was on fire when the pair reached it. And just seconds after they helped free the three people on board, the entire plane was engulfed.
Mr Nicholson was driving his son after collecting him from a friend’s house when the plane ‘came from nowhere’ at about 11am. ‘If it had been two seconds later it would have hit us,’ he said. ‘It literally burst into flames in front of me and it landed upside down.’
The married retail manager saw a young woman of about 20 screaming inside the aircraft. He tried to smash a window at the front before seeing a crack in another at the back.
He said he kicked the damaged pane, adding: ‘The girl was kicking from the inside, helping, and eventually I was able to drag her out.’
Mr Snarr helped pull the woman free before turning his attention to the pilot, a man who looked to be in his 40s. ‘He put his hands out, I grabbed both of them, pulled him out,’ said the ex-army sergeant, who was medically discharged earlier this year with PTSD after serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A young man of about 20 crawled out of a window to get free of the plane. It had hit cables before crashing on the road near a private landing strip.
The pilot and passengers were treated by paramedics and taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.
Kelly Hale, who saw one of the trio being saved, said: ‘They’re safe and the guy is a hero.’
A train was hit by downed cables, forcing the temporary closure of the Newport to Hereford line.