A 41-year-old bus driver from Bonchester Bridge who rescued a couple from a crashed car has received his company’s top award.
This week Steven Godfrey was named by his bosses as ‘Superstar of the Year’, having received the monthly award in January, shortly after the dramatic rescue.
Steven was also shortlisted in the prestigious Scottish Transport Awards earlier this summer, in the ‘Frontline Employee of the Year’ category.
But for the bus driver of just four years, this last selection is his proudest moment.
“It has been a very exciting year,” said Steven. “Attending the Scottish Transport Awards and receiving special recognition was a highlight, but winning the Superstar of the Year award tops even that.
“I am delighted to have received the award, but the most important thing was that the couple were not seriously injured. I think, put in my position, anyone would have tried to assist.”
Steven, who works out of the Galashiels depot, was driving the number 68 service from Jedburgh to Galashiels when he came across a crashed BMW X5 at Ancrum, with a couple trapped inside.
He said: “The car was on its side and judging by how badly it was damaged, it had obviously been involved in a very nasty incident.
“As per my safety training at First Scotland East, I asked if the ignition was turned off, and then set about trying to get them free.
“I was very concerned the engine would go up in flames and so I knew that getting them free safely and quickly was critical.”
Steven continued: “By now another motorist had stopped to provide help and suggested we try to pull them through the window, but I was really concerned this would upset the balance of the car and cause further injury. I decided it was much safer to gain access via the boot. So we quickly removed the headrests to create enough space so that we could set them free.
“We successfully got them out via the boot and I immediately escorted them on board the bus, all the time reassuring them that the emergency services were on their way, and that everything would be fine.
“It looked as if they had a few nasty cuts and bruises and were obviously in shock. It was a miracle that they escaped from the wreckage without serious injury.”
Operations director for First Scotland East, John Gorman, said: “Steven has got a great rapport with customers, but his quick thinking and heroic actions could have saved the couple’s lives. He fully deserves his ‘Superstar of the Year’ title.”