Heroes' bravery rewarded

Medals for pair who pulled drivers from crash

Last updated 14:06 20/03/2014
Martin Kay and Colin Wiggins
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ

RELUCTANT HEROES: Colin Wiggins, left, and Martin Kay have been awarded bravery medals after they pulled drivers from a fiery crash near Hastings.

Relevant offers

Wellington

New Zealand Post reports $141m profit and parcel growth as letters decline Floyd Gatfield appears in court after AOS callout in Miriam St All Blacks ask stadium to cover windows so rugby fans can't watch training Jailed for assaulting two women on Monday, bailed until appeal on Thursday School cycling trip ends in injury for student Editorial: Cost still the question mark over light rail Flashback: A prime ministerial flash across the Canterbury Plains Mana Coastguard scuppered as portacom base goes up in flames at Porirua marina Customs Minister Nicky Wagner launches new e-gates at Wellington Airport Annual Orange Day road safety parade prompts flashback at Newtown School

A pair of reluctant heroes who saved two men from burning vehicles say they finally have closure, after being awarded with bravery medals today.

Wellingtonian Martin Kay and Hastings man Colin Wiggins received their awards from Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae at an investiture ceremony at Government House.

Kay and Wiggins were in separate cars when they witnessed a crash between a car and truck near Hastings on October 16, 2010.

The crash trapped both drivers, and the men raced to free them. Both vehicles were on fire.

They dragged the driver of the car to safety, but could not see inside the smoke-filled truck.

After smashing out the windscreen with a hammer, they managed to drag the driver of the truck to safety before the cab was engulfed in flames. The heat and intensity of the fire set the road's tar seal on fire.

Speaking after the ceremony today, Kay and Wiggins both said it had taken a long time to come to terms with what happened.

"I've stopped thinking about [it as] something that was really horrible that I never wanted to think about again," Kay, a former Dominion Post journalist, said.

"[Now] it will be, 'what a great day that was for the family'."

Kay later wrote a feature about the experience.

Wiggins, who received therapy after the incident, said today's ceremony had brought closure. 

"One of the firemen said to me after the whole thing had finished, he said, 'Col... that doesn't normally happen. That happens on movie sets, not for real."

Kay said for years he had found it hard to watch movies where there were scenes involving car crashes.

"It just triggers something," he said.

"I don't think that's going to happen anymore now, hopefully."

Both men agreed they would go through it all again if it meant helping someone.

"I think most people would," Kay said.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

What should happen with the Zephyrometer?

Build a new one just like the old one

Replace it with something completely new

Leave it as it is!

Clear the space - not a good place for a sculpture

Vote Result

Related story: Wind wand's future up in the air

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content