Off-duty police officer saved driver’s life after major car crash blaze

Detective Inspector (DI) Tom Rowe saved a motorist’s life

Detective Inspector (DI) Tom Rowe saved a motorist’s life following a major crash along the A15 at Peterborough in October last year. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary

An off-duty police officer’s quick-thinking helped save the life of a motorist trapped in a car fire following a serious crash on the A15.  

Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s Detective Inspector (DI) Tom Rowe carried out critical actions as first at the scene of the crash while on his way home from work. 

He had finished late at the end of a long week in October last year and was driving along the A15 in Peterborough when he noticed a car in a ditch beside the opposite carriageway. 

He turned around at the next roundabout, took charge of the scene and began searching for the driver.  

The Chief Superintendent’s Commendations Ceremony heard how the vehicle was now on fire and after finding the driver, DI Rowe dragged him to a place of safety. 


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Having completed first aid checks, he went on to co-ordinate the multi-agency response, ensure the road was closed, take witness details, scene photos and complete an MG11 that evening.  

He also offered to be contacted the following week, when he was on annual leave, if any further information was required. 

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“The casualty was seriously injured but still alive, thanks to DI Rowe’s swift actions, putting him in the recovery position and away from danger,” said a police spokesperson.  

“He was transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he remained in a critical condition for some time. 

“DI Rowe is a diligent and motivated leader who is commended for his actions during this incident and his commitment to the values of the organisation.” 

In socially distanced ceremony at police headquarters in Huntingdon on June 23, Chief Superintendents Jon Hutchinson and Mark Greenhalgh praised officers, staff and members of the public who had excelled or shown acts of bravery. 

Mr Hutchinson said: “It’s been an extremely challenging few months, not only for the public but also for officers policing the pandemic.  

“After such testing times it’s perhaps more important than ever that we celebrate the great work you do on a daily basis, the achievements you have accomplished and the dedication you have shown to keeping people safe. 

“These presentations are about celebrating the loyalty and dedication you have given to the organisation. Going that extra mile is something I, and indeed you, should be enormously proud of. 

 “I am always amazed by the stories of outstanding bravery, compassion and kindness towards those in need, how you put your own lives at risk and how you have gone above and beyond for the people of Cambridgeshire – so to each and every one of you, I say thank you.” 

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