Off-duty firefighter commended for his actions at the scene of a fatal crash

AN off-duty Cheadle firefighter has been commended for his action at the scene an horrific fatal head-on crash in the Staffordshire Moorlands in August.

Craig Barks was driving through Draycott, near Blythe Bridge, when he pulled over to give emergency first ahead after witnessing a serious collision between a car and a van.

He immediately summoned the emergency services and set about seeing to the badly injured three occupants of the car – a mother and her two young children from Stoke-on-Trent.

Sadly, five-year-old Corey Edwards was pronounced dead at the scene and his mother, Rebecca Smith, 24, later died at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Another boy, aged six, was flown by air ambulance to Sheffield Children’s Hospital with life-threatening injuries but has since made a recovery.

The van driver, a man in his 40s, escaped with minor injuries.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service chief officer Becci Bryant has presented Craig with a certificate of commendation in recognition of the help he gave to the accident victims.

The presentation was made at Cheadle fire station in the presence of Craig’s family and fire service colleagues .

Ms Bryant said: “Craig was nominated for a commendation for his actions because, although he is employed by the service, he was off duty at the time of the incident.

“He has limited experience as he’s only been with us for about two years, but his calm, positive response was beyond what could have been expected when he was faced with a significant incident like this.”