Gold Coast woman who pulled driver from burning car honoured with Bravery Award

A Gold Coast woman who risked her own life to pull an injured driver from the wreckage of a car before it burst into flames has been recognised for her extraordinary bravery.

Elizabeth Adams is one of 17 Australians to be honoured with an Australian Bravery Award from the Governor-General.

Ms Adams was driving along the Gold Coast Highway at Palm Beach on 29 May, 2016 when a car sped past her before smashing into a power pole.


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The vehicle had crashed at such force it split in two, sending one half over in to the bushes on the side of the road.

A passenger in the vehicle died at the scene.

Ms Adams immediately pulled over and ran to the vehicle and with the help of bystanders started pulling airbags off the injured female driver.

The woman was trapped in the vehicle with flames beginning to come through the windscreen and footwell of the vehicle.

As the fire began to intensify, Ms Adams placed herself between the woman and the flames and managed to free her arms and legs from underneath the steering wheel and dashboard.

With the help of four men, they managed to get the woman out of the vehicle and move her to safety.

Moments later the vehicle exploded.

Ms Adams says it’s a night she will never forget.

“I still feel sick to my stomach with what I had to do to her to get her free, I can still hear the twisting bones and the cracking to work her legs out from underneath the steering wheel,” Ms Adams told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“It was the only way to get her free.”

“I thought I did what anyone would do, but I have since learnt not everyone would jump into a burning car.”

The men who helped Ms Adams that night have also been recognised for their actions.

Dr Ashok Gangasandra, his son Vishaak Gangasandra, Richard Staples and John Verbeek have been awarded the Group Bravery Citation.

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