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Swansea RAF hero rescues four passengers from car crash

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 20, 2012

Craig Kiley

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A MODEST hero has described how he returned to a crashed car four times to rescue the young passengers trapped inside.

Craig Kiley was going home by taxi after a night out in Swansea when he saw the mangled vehicle in the middle of a roundabout, billowing smoke and leaking fuel.

While other motorists drove by, the former RAF man managed to comfort the four occupants and get them out of the car.

But the former Penlan School pupil said his only thought was getting the passengers to safety because "they are someone's sons, someone's daughter".

Mr Kiley was travelling to Morriston with his partner in the early hours of Sunday morning when their taxi came upon the crashed car on the roundabout at the end of Pentrechwyth Road across the river from the Liberty Stadium.

He said: "As we were coming down to the roundabout I could see the wreckage, with a pair of legs hanging out. It was like something from a Hollywood film — one side of the car had been peeled back like a tin can, and there was smoke and fuel coming from the car. I told the taxi driver to stop and I jumped out — I didn't really think, I was just acting on instinct. I thought the car was going to explode."

Mr Kiley said that while the cabbie tried to hold the side of the wrecked car open, he got the first person — the one whose legs he had seen hanging from the vehicle — out, then went back for number two, and led him to safety too.

The third passenger had his feet trapped under the front seat of the damaged car but the Portmead Good Samaritan managed to free him and take him to safety.

He then went back for the fourth person — a girl in her late teens or early 20 who was also trapped in the back of the car — and, helped by another motorist who had by now stopped, Mr Kiley managed to get into the car, free the casualty, wrap her arms around his neck, and lift her out.

He said: "The four of them were crying and had blood on their faces.

"People were driving by but I couldn't do that — I kept thinking that these people are someone's sons, someone's daughter, and I couldn't have lived with myself if I had done nothing."

Mr Kiley, who spent six years as a field communications expert with the RAF and completed two tours of Afghanistan, also credited his military training for helping him stay calm and help the injured youngsters.

Though he now works for Swansea Council he said he was hoping to return to the Air Force next year.

The 29-year-old said: "I saw some things in Afghanistan, but the sight of that car was surreal."

South Wales Police confirmed they were investigating the crash, and said a fifth person who was believed to have been in the vehicle at the time of the incident, had been traced.

A spokesman urged anyone who saw the incident — or who saw the red VW Golf being driven immediately prior to the crash — to come forward.

Can you help? Call South Wales Police on 101

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