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Not all heroes wear capes ... Some drive a lorry!

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

Words: Simon Paterson

“I just knew at that moment that there was no one else around to help and I had to do what was right.

When larger-than-life truck driver, John Rastrick, left for work on the morning of the 17th January 2019, he had no idea he would return home a national hero!

Loundsley Green resident John Rastrick was driving along the M1 last year when he witnessed a vehicle smash into a small car at speed, which left Pari Mistry's hatchback in flames, and her trapped inside the wreckage!

With little to no regard for his own safety, John pulled over the lorry and leapt from his cab to begin his rescue of the 27-year-old from Leicester.

Approaching the car, John was met with a thick cloud of smoke and flames rapidly engulfing the car. Pari was in complete shock, curled up in a ball with her knees to her chest.

John said, “I saw her car spin two or three times when another car collided with her and her vehicle immediately set on fire.

“I just knew at that moment that there was no one else around to help and I had to do what was right.

“I hoped to God that whoever was in the car had got out, but when I saw Pari in there, I put all my fears aside and tried to pull her out.”

With just twenty-nine seconds to spare John, 65, pulled Pari to safety before her car exploded.

John goes on to say:

“The real hero here is Pari. She spent four days in a critical care unit with a fractured skull, underwent an eight-hour operation and then had to learn to walk and talk again. That’s real determination and courage right there, she’s a very special lady.”

Thanks to John, Pari is on the road to recovery and enjoying life with her husband and family.

John and Pari have built a friendship and remain close to this day. Pari will always be grateful to the man who saved her life.

We are not the only people who have recognised John’s heroism. The Emergency Services crew who attend the incident have presented John with the East Midlands Ambulance Service Bravery Award for his selfless actions.

John has appeared on both BBC Breakfast and Good Morning Britain, gracing the sofas with his presence. He is very happy to have met Naga Munchetty and had quite the grin on his face talking about Kate Garraway!

So, the next time you see John Rastrick in one of our local pubs, buy him a pint will ya, he deserves it!



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