A QUICK-thinking lorry-driver who helped rescue a suicidal woman threatening to jump off a bridge has been honoured for his actions.
David Lowther, from Ayton, Washington, was driving near a busy stretch of motorway when he spotted the distressed woman climbing over a fence in a bid to throw herself in front of oncoming traffic.
The 48-year-old HGV driver and a colleague, who were approaching a junction of the A1(M) near Darlington when the drama unfolded, stopped their vehicle, dashed over to the woman and managed to calm her down until police arrived.
Now, just over a year after the rescue, which saw the pair handed a police commendation, the ASDA worker has been named among 8,000 inspirational figures of all ages who will carry the Olympic flame on routes across the country.
“We were coming off the A1(M) when we saw this woman on the bridge,” he said. “She was actually over the other side of the barrier. We could see what she was planning to do.
“We just pulled over as quickly as we could and rushed over to her. We managed to talk to her and keep her calm until the police arrived.”
David, who has worked at the Washington branch of the supermarket for 11 years, said he is overjoyed to have been chosen to carry the flame when it arrives in Sheffield, the location of those who nominated him.
“It’s unreal,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it. I just can’t believe I’ve been given this chance.”
Each person was nominated by someone who admires them, with organisers and sponsors making the final decision on who gets to do a 300-metre stint.
“It’s not every day you get to be part of history like this,” added David.
Clair Watson, transport operations manager at North East Clothing (NEC), where David is based, said she was “extremely proud” of him.
“NEC is extremely proud of his achievement and I am not surprised by his actions on the day,” she said. “He is an extremely selfless colleague who always puts others before himself.
“He has worked at NEC for six years and in this time has been a pleasure to have on our team.
“We look forward to listening all about his adventures when he returns from carrying the Olympic torch.”