Heroic ambulance worker praised for rescuing family from M8 car fire

A Scottish Ambulance Service control centre worker has been praised for assisting a family from their car moments before it burst into flames on the M8.  Picture: SWNS
A Scottish Ambulance Service control centre worker has been praised for assisting a family from their car moments before it burst into flames on the M8. Picture: SWNS
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An emergency service worker has been praised for helping a family escape their car moments before it burst into flames on a busy motorway.

Ashley Johnstone was driving into Glasgow with her two sons, eight, and six when her car broke down leaving the terrified family stranded in the middle lane of the busy M8.

Scottish Ambulance Service worker Suzanne Brown was on her way to work when she spotted Ashley and the two children in the car, near junction 17 on the Glasgow road.

Ashley says Suzanne, a SAS control centre manager, rescued her family ushering them to safety in her car.

The mum-of-two said: “We were stuck in the middle lane of the flyover. There was smoke coming out of the bonnet.

“I jumped out to get the kids out of the back of the car. Suzanne then pulled in front of my car.

“It was obvious that it was about to go up in flames - there was a lot of smoke coming out.

“Suzanne took control of the situation straight away.”

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Police Scotland and the Fire Service were called while the family and Suzanne were safe from the smoking car.

Ashley added: “It went up in flames - it was awful, I didn’t know what caused it, but it was reassuring that we were safe.

“If we were still on the motorway it could have been a lot worse.

“Suzanne was very calm, and it felt like she took control of the situation. It could have been different if no one had come to help.”

Describing the “shocking” incident on June 28 Suzanne said: “I came up beside the Polo, which had ground to a halt.

“There was a loud noise coming out of the car and it started to smoke. It was right in the middle lane.

“I pulled in front and reversed my car to her car.

“Ashley got out of the car and I went to help her two boys out, but they got themselves out.

“The traffic had not stopped and the car was ready to blow up. My car was on the outside lane and then the car exploded - it just disintegrated.

“It started at the front, the windscreen blew up, then the rest of the car disintegrated. We were away at that point.

“I don’t think what I did was very brave, I kept playing it down. I have kids of my own and I would not like anyone not to help me.

“It was quite a shock - it went up in a matter of minutes. We were all lucky we were out of the car when it went up in flames.”

Ashley added: “I am so grateful to Suzanne. She was very good with my two boys.

“I want to thank her kindness, for stopping and taking control of the situation and for being so calm and reassuring to myself and my boys.”