Acting on instinct in a potentially life or death situation, London Police rewarded a Western student with a citizen citation for her heroics in saving an elderly woman’s life in a fiery collision.
Currently working on her Master’s, Melanie Russell says she witnessed a head on collision at the Kensington Bridge.
“I heard a huge ‘bang’ behind me,” Russell said. “Almost immediately, the car involved in the crash went up in flames and the driver was not exiting the vehicle.”
Russell says she had to “forcefully” remove the woman after asking her multiple times leave the vehicle.
Russell and the driver waited for emergency services to arrive.
“I didn’t really have time to process what was going on,” “Russell said. “After the fact I was actually a little shaken up. I called my dad and when I was recounting what had happened then I started feeling a little nervous after that.”
The London Police Serviced Board commended Russell on her bravery, but says that citizens are never asked to place themselves in dangerous situations.
“It feels nice to be recognized, but I don’t feel as if I did that much,” Russell said. “I think I did what any reasonable person in my position would and should do.”
Russell’s family and her boyfriend celebrated the award with her following the ceremony on Thursday.