ALBURY’S top policeman will recommend two officers receive bravery awards for pulling a man from a burning car moments before it was incinerated.
Superintendent Evan Quarmby said it had been incredibly lucky the officers were patrolling Burrows Road before Thursday morning's smash.
They arrived five or 10 seconds after the 33-year-old’s blue Ford Falcon hit a tree near Hamilton Valley and caught alight.
The impact damaged the door and left the driver stuck, with the general duties officers pulling off the door and sliding the man out only 15 seconds before the car was engulfed in flames.
An off-duty firefighter heard a bang and also rushed to the scene to help the driver out of the vehicle.
“Without the swift action by the two police who arrived at the scene shortly after the collision, I have absolutely no doubt the driver would have been incinerated,” Superintendent Quarmby said.
“It was lucky for the driver police were on the spot shortly after the incident occurred.
“This is an act of selfless bravery by two police who put themselves in danger to save the life of a motorist.
“They put themselves in the line of danger and they’ve done an extraordinary job.”
Superintendent Quarmby said there was no pursuit and speed didn’t appear to be a factor.
He suggested bad weather may have played a role in the smash.
“The circumstances of the collision are being investigated, but at this time of year road conditions can be very treacherous, and as always we urge drivers to take all care they possibly can in inclement weather,” he said.
Firefighter Dean Campbell said it had taken four officers about 20 minutes to contain the fire.
“He's the luckiest man in Albury, I'd say,” Mr Campbell said of the Lavington driver.
The teenager was driving a family member’s Kia Carnival on Douglas Road when it hit a tree and caught alight.
Police quickly arrived and saved the man before the fire took hold.