A car crash hero who risked his own life to save an elderly couple from being burned alive felt nothing but an uncanny sense of deja vu.
For Saturday afternoon’s drama was a carbon copy of a rescue Russell Marston had carried out less than two years ago, just a few hundred metres down the road.
On both occasions the 37-year-old computer specialist has crawled his way into an overturned smoking car leaking gallons of fuel.
And both times he has carefully pulled out two injured pensioners, carrying them to safety before emergency services arrived.
“It’s certainly a coincidence, but there was no time to think about that. All I focused on was getting the victims out before the car exploded,” he told the Citizen this week.
Dad-of-one Russell was at the cashpoint in Stony Stratford’s London Road when he heard a huge bang.
“I looked down the road and saw a Fiat 500 had crashed an overturned on to its side, spilling fuel all along the road.
“I rushed over and saw there was an elderly couple, both in their 70s, clearly injured and trapped inside. There was also a dog in there.
“I could see the car smoking, so even though someone had called the emergency services, I knew there was no time to waste.”
Russell prised open the car boot, quickly unloaded the couple’s shopping and dismantled the back seat so he could squeeze inside.”
Somehow he and another unknown young helper managed to gently pull the driver and passenger out through the car.
While another passer-by caught the dog, Russell sat the dazed and bleeding couple at the side of the road until an ambulance arrived to take them to hospital.
Said Russell: “I suppose the car could have blown up with me in it but I wasn’t scared. It was just a complete deja vu.”
Then, Russell was sitting in a Stony High Street pub when a similar accident happened right outside.
“I did exactly the same thing and crawled inside to get the people out before the car exploded. They were also pensioners, a man and his wife. The only difference was that they had a mobility scooter in the car and it crashed onto my legs when I opened the boot!”
Witnesses on Saturday criticised the response times of the emergency services. Police say they arrived within nine minutes while firefighters took six minutes.