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Air cadet, 15, honoured for actions at St Erth crash

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: August 30, 2013

  • Anne Longbottom and her son Connor Smith who went to the aid of a car crash victim.

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AN AIR cadet from Canons Town has been presented with a special award after he came to the aid of a car crash victim.

Connor Smith, a member of 1900 West Cornwall Squadron, received the certificate of excellence for exemplary services to the community for his actions following a traffic accident in St Erth on Friday, August 16.

Connor was on his way to cadets when a car driving along Station Road in the Penzance direction smashed into the side of another vehicle which was pulling out from the junction at Station Approach.

Connor, who was in the car with his mum travelling in the opposite direction, witnessed the accident.

He said: "I have never seen anything like it before, it was horrendous."

The 15-year-old was the first on the scene, rushing to help one injured male driver, while his mum attended to the female driver of the other car.

Connor, who had only passed his first aid training with the Hayle-based cadets two months before, put his new skills into action.

"He was complaining of pains in his ribs and back. I talked to him and tried to calm him down," said Connor.

"It was quite a sight. I was just absolutely shocked."

The quick-thinking teen then treated the driver for shock by placing a pillow under his legs to keep them elevated and made sure he was in a comfortable position.

"When it actually happened, I surprised myself how confident and strong-willed I was in remembering my training and to do it on someone," said Connor.

Despite feeling overwhelmed himself, the Hayle Community School pupil then rang the driver's wife to explain what had happened and talked with her to calm her down.

People in neighbouring houses, who had seen the commotion, then provided blankets for the injured drivers.

The accident happened just before 7pm and firefighters from Penzance and a rescue tender from Camborne attended the scene as a precaution.

When emergency services arrived, the road was closed in both directions.

Connor and his mum, Anne Longbottom, stayed with the casualties until an ambulance took both drivers to hospital.

Connor said that after the incident it took some time for it to sink it how serious the accident could have been and the impact his actions may have had.

He said: "Everyone was praising me for it, many said it was a pretty big thing I'd done. It was only after I thought 'I could have made a difference'."

Since his heroic actions last week, Connor has been left many messages of support from his squadron on his Facebook page. Flight Sergeant Tom Reed said the certificate Connor received was a rare honour which is given when a cadet goes above and beyond what is expected of them.

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  • Splammy  |  September 03 2013, 9:30AM

    Mmmm, just as a tip to this dude, with a crash like this, I wouldn't elevate the legs at a time like that, you are not qualified enough to judge whether there were more serious injuries, such as a spinal or neck injury. The integrity of the persons life in that current situation should have been paramount and, you need to consider long and short term effects of your actions. But! Very well done, and I am proud you had the confidence to attend to the person at that time!