Four Shrewsbury police officers were today being recognised for the heroic roles they played in a four-car horror smash last year which killed two people.
Constable David Williams and Sergeants Stuart Wells, Darren Heyes and Andrew Jackson, battled to rescue two people trapped in a burning car after the crash on the A49 at Bayston Hill in September 2011.
They were attending a reception in Downing Street this afternoon before attending the annual Police Bravery Awards with Home Secretary Theresa May in the City of London tonight.
Constable Williams, a motorcycle officer, was first to arrive and together with Sergeant Wells tried unsuccessfully to tackle the blaze with a fire extinguisher.
The pair desperately tried to free the trapped driver and passenger both from the back of the car and by smashing the passenger window. Sergeant Jackson then arrived and focused on the driver while his colleagues tried to rescue the passenger, who had suffered a partial amputation of her hand.
The fourth officer Sergeant Heyes tried to separate the cars with a tow rope to stop the flames spreading but the rope snapped.
Firefighters then put out the flames and rescued the couple, both of whom were seriously injured but survived. Another couple who had earlier been pulled from their car died from their injuries.
A total of 53 from forces across the country have been nominated for the annual Police Bravery Awards, held to recognise officers who have risked their lives in the line of duty.
The event has a particular resonance this year following the deaths of Constables Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes who were shot after attending what appeared to be a routine burglary call in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.
There will be eight regional awards handed out at the ceremony tonight, one for victim support and one overall winner.