Pigeon Ponds' Tim Leeming receives bravery award

A PIGEON Ponds farmer who saved an elderly woman from a burning car believes he just did what anyone else would do.

Tim Leeming was awarded a Royal Humane Society of Australasia bravery award on Wednesday for saving a woman after her car hit a tree in Pigeon Ponds in 2015.

Mr Leeming had just left his farm when he came across a car that had hit a tree on the Coleraine-Edenhope Road.

The silver station wagon was upside down on its roof.

Mr Leeming pulled over and found an elderly woman in the vehicle.

“She was conscious and okay,” he said.

However, the woman was trapped upside down in the car by her seat belt.

Mr Leeming rang triple-0 and was in the middle of telling the operator where the accident was when he noticed flames coming out of the front of the car.

“I can’t even remember if I hung up the phone call,” he said.

“I was in my ute, so I immediately got the UHF radio and called to neighbour to get the fire truck down to the scene.”

Mr Leeming’s next move was to free the woman from her vehicle.

“She had a fair bit of blood on her and she was upside down in the car,” he said.

“I made the executive decision to get her out.

“I didn’t want her to burn to death.

“I know you aren’t meant to move people who have been involved in a crash but I had to get her out, it was better than letting her burn to death.”

Mr Leeming was able to free the woman and he put her into his ute until emergency services arrived.

It wasn’t long until the entire car became engulfed in flames.

Mr Leeming said it was a difficult task to free the woman.

“I had a sore back for two weeks afterward, but it was the adrenaline at the time that helped – you just go into a different mode,” he said.

“I saw the woman the next day and she had a lot of bruises but she was okay.”

Mr Leeming said he was surprised to learn he would receive a bravery award. 

“A lot of people would have done the same thing that I did,” he said.

“No one wants to be involved in these kinds of situations, but I was lucky it all turned out well in the end.”

Mr Leeming said if he was in the same situation again, he wouldn’t do anything differently.

He received a bronze medallion at Government House in Melbourne on Wednesday.

“There were some pretty amazing stories from the other award recipients,” he said.