Crash victim reunited with saviour – Thanks to Pride of Bury Awards
A BRAVE crash survivor has been reunited with the fireman who held her hand while she was being rescued, thanks to the Pride of Bury Awards.
Bethany Lee, from Radcliffe, was severely injured in a three-car crash on the M60 last December, as she was travelling home from a football game with her dad and younger sister.
Bethany, 20 at the time, was taken to hospital with serious injuries, needing emergency surgery and metal pins to rebuild her legs.
Paul Doggett, one of the firemen who attended the scene of the accident, was delighted to see the woman again at the Pride of Bury awards, where they were both being honoured for their contributions to the community.
He said: “We got there that evening and I thought ‘that’s the girl from that accident, should I go speak to her’?
“I went over and she looked at me like I was some sort of alien and I said ‘I was at the accident, I was next to you holding your hand’.
“She’s a lovely girl and it’s nice to see her back on her feet – she’s so brave, she’s going to come down to the station and meet the other guys when she’s ready.”
Paul, who works at Bury fire station, was part of a crew called to the incident near junction 16 at Clifton Interchange on December 4.
The motorway was shut for more than five hours, as response teams including three Hazardous Area Response Teams, three ambulances, four fire engines, and North West Motorway Police worked at the scene.Despite the hard work of emergency services, Bethany’s father, 60-year-old Peter Lee, tragically died at the scene.
Bethany’s recovery is ongoing, and has been filled with setbacks and struggles, but the 21-year-old says she thinks she is doing a lot better now.
She is in her final year studying for a degree in Working with Children and Families, a University of Cumbria course that she studies at Bury College, and is really looking forward to visiting Paul at the fire station for a brew.
Bethany said: “I want to meet all the other crew who helped me out.
“I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped.
“They job they do is amazing and they really helped me that day – I can’t thank them enough.”
The Lee family were awarded for their strength and determination with the Family Hero award at the 2019 Pride of Bury awards.
Bethany called that moment “bittersweet” as it was won in her father’s memory.
She also said she was “dead proud” of her mum and her sister for the way they have acted since the accident. Paul also spoke of the uncertainty that firefighters face after leaving an incident, as they are unable to find out what happens to any casualties they see.
He said: “We don’t know what happens to people after we leave them and it was quite overwhelming.
“It’ was a massive team effort to help her but I was lucky enough to be there to meet her at the awards – it’s heartbreaking what happened to her and her family and it was nice to get closure in a good way.”