Sytner McLaren salesman wins bravery award after high-speed crash

Time 7 years ago

Screen shot 2015-04-01 at 09.50.36A SALESMAN from Sytner’s McLaren Manchester dealership has received a bravery award after pulling a customer from the burning wreckage of a supercar that crashed on test drive.

Lee Christian, 37, saved the life of a Warrington stockbroker in the high-speed crash, which happened when he was accompanying him on a test drive in a £245,000 McLaren 650S on the A50 in Cheshire last August.

He received the bravery award from Cheshire’s chief constable Simon Byrne.


The driver had lost control, veered off the road, drove into bushes and then hit a tree. The impact had ripped off the driver’s door and there were flames in the back of the car.

Christian said: ‘After we hit the tree, my first thought was that I was okay, but when I looked across the driver looked in very bad way.

‘I tried to get make my escape through the passenger door but that was jammed, so I had to clamber over the stricken driver.’

Once out of the car, Christian made two fruitless attempts to pull the critically-injured driver from the vehicle before on the third attempt succeeding.

He said: ‘The fire was so intense it was difficult to get to him and on the third attempt I knew it was going to be now or never. I managed to grab him by his trouser belt and by an arm and with my feet against the vehicle managed to pull him out.

‘I managed to carry him 30 metres into the field with the car behind me banging and exploding.’

The driver spent several weeks in hospital and is still recovering from his injuries, including fractures to his shoulder, elbow and ankle, and has been undergoing skin grafts.

Christian had a bad cut on his head and received burns to his face and head, but was back in work at the McLaren dealership at Canute Place within four weeks.

‘I had two very nice letters from the driver’s wife in which she said without my actions he would not be alive today,’ he said.

‘The firefighters told me it had been the single biggest accident he had attended where the crew did not have to remove bodies. That just shows how lucky we both were on that day.’

At the presentation, Chief Constable Byrne said: ‘It was a selfless act in an extremely perilous scenario that put Lee’s own life at risk. His actions are very much deserving of this commendation.’

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Colin Channon's avatar

Colin is a former editor of Car Dealer. He left the magazine in August 2015.

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