A van driver who saved a motorist trapped in a burning car after a high-speed crash in Huddersfield has today (12 November 2019) been recognised with a national award at FTA’s 2019 Van Excellence Honours Lunch. Kevin Marriott, a Sainsbury’s delivery driver, was presented with the Hero of the Year award at a glittering ceremony at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans.
In autumn 2019, a motorist crashed his car at high speed into a lamp post in Fenay Bridge, West Yorkshire; his engine subsequently burst into flames, leaving the driver trapped inside the burning vehicle. Upon coming across the scene, Mr Marriott used his fire extinguisher from his cab to hold back the flames; when it ran out, he raced to a nearby pub, grabbed more extinguishers, and continued to fight the flames until firefighters arrived. On arrival, firefighters cut the motorist out of the vehicle and Mr Marriott was praised for his brave actions.
Kevin Green , Director of Marketing & Communications at FTA, which administers the Van Excellence scheme, comments:
“The Hero of the Year award recognises and rewards the van drivers who go above and beyond the call of duty. Mr Marriott, who fought off flames to save a motorist trapped in a burning car, showed unbelievable ingenuity, bravery and perseverance in the face of adversity. While van drivers play a vital role in our society, too often their contributions are undervalued; Mr Marriot is a shining example of how they can be some of the most hard-working, dedicated and selfless people in the UK.”
Mr Marriott comments:
“I am over the moon to be crowned Hero of the Year at the Van Excellence Honours Lunch. The support and recognition I have received from both the local community and my colleagues since the incident has been very touching; this award truly is the icing on the cake. I would like to thank my team for nominating me for this award; I am so pleased my actions helped to save a man’s life.
“I’ve been driving for Sainsbury’s for about five months but been with the company for approximately 4.5 years. I’m from Huddersfield living in the area of Holmfirth and the best part of our job is our customers, getting to meet so many wonderful and different people in our community.”
The awards, also sponsored by AA, Bott, Brigade Electronics, Hertz, Lex Autolease and Quartix, celebrate the businesses and individuals leading the way in excellence and setting a high standard for others to follow.
Andy Eccles, Head of Fleet, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd adds:
“According to the Collins English Dictionary, a hero is defined as a person distinguished by exceptional courage, nobility and fortitude, and those words are truly fitting for the selfless actions taken by Kevin Marriott. While his employers are quite rightly proud of him, I know the entire van community will be immensely proud of him too, as he has proved that brave, hard-working and committed van drivers are absolutely at the heart of our country, keeping businesses, and indeed lives, moving every single day. Kevin really is a hero and wholeheartedly deserves this recognition.”
Administered by FTA, the leading organisation in UK logistics, Van Excellence was created in 2010 to promote the safe operation of vans, represent the interests of the sector, and celebrate operators demonstrating excellent standards. Central to the scheme is the Van Excellence Code, a set of minimum best practice standards all van operators should aspire to achieve, covering safety, efficiency and sustainability.