Praise for North Chailey man who rescued motorcyclist engulfed in flames


A man has been praised for coming to the rescue of a motorcyclist who was engulfed in flames after a crash.

When a motorcyclist overturned on a bend on the A272 in North Chailey a local man doused the flames with the contents of a watering can and gave him first aid until emergency services arrived on Sunday morning.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service incident commander Ian Ritchie said: “The selfless actions of the resident undoubtedly made a huge difference to the outcome which could have been far more serious but for him and his watering can. Real emergency first aid. He was thanked and congratulated by all at the scene for his actions.”

The 39-year-old rider from Hove and his black KTM Superduke came off the road on a bend just west of the junction with Beggar’s Wood Road at 9.45am.

Firefighters extinguished the bike fire and assisted medical staff by cooling the casualty while paramedics treated him before he was flown to Brighton Hospital. He has since been transferred to a specialist burns unit in London.

Mr Ritchie added: “It was an unusual incident but we came away with a real feeling of making a difference to somebody’s life despite an obvious long road to recovery ahead for the casualty.”

“This was a real team effort between our crew, SECamb paramedics, Sussex Police, the air ambulance doctor and a local resident who was first on the scene but stayed with it and assisted throughout”.

A motorbike and car crashed on the same stretch at 10.40am on Friday June 12.

The 57-year-old motorcyclist from Kent suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries and was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital.

The two crashes have happened just weeks before the speed limit on the road is to be reduced from 60, to 50 miles-per-hour.

Sharon Davy, Lewes District Council member for Chailey and Wivelsfield, has been campaigning and petitioning for a 40mph speed limit on the road, where she lives, for 12 years.

She explained that, to her disappointment, a 40mph limit was not considered appropriate because it is a main road on which traffic must be kept flowing.

She said the speed limit reduction was agreed in December 2010 and will be put in place within a month.

Witnesses of the crash on Sunday should phone 101, quoting serial 489 of 14/6.