First to arrive at a crash Friday in West Yorkshire, England, Constable Martin Willis found a scene that practically defines the word “precarious.”
A wrecked van with the driver trapped inside teetered on the edge of an icy overpass, Willis told CBS News. Each time another vehicle passed or the wind gusted, the constable could see the van sway.
Willis grabbed a tire to keep the van from plunging to the roadway below, and hung on for 15 minutes until a West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue team arrived to assist.
“It was scary as I was worried another collision could occur and hit us on the hard shoulder as traffic was speeding past,” Willis told The Telegraph. “It was balancing so I just had to hold it still.”
Posting on Twitter about the experience later, Willis said “I can’t begin to describe my relief,” when help arrived. The driver was taken to a hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Newspaper and television reports describe Willis as a hero.
“Your superman cape isn’t in this photo though! Must have come off in the fracas!” fellow Constable Adam Pace posted to Twitter.
Another poster, identifying themselves as a parent of the injured driver, posted their gratitude and said Willis, who goes by “Motorway Martin” on Twitter, should change his name to “Motorway Marvel.”
But Willis later posted on Twitter that he doesn’t consider himself a hero.
“I was only doing my job, but feel very honoured to recieve so much praise,” Willis wrote Saturday.