Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Friday, 8 January 2010

France honours hero for saving pregnant woman


A French man has earned a bravery medal for diving into an icy river and saving a pregnant woman who was trapped inside a crashed car in northeastern France.

The woman had been in a collision with another car which sent her car into a river in Amiens on Wednesday evening.

The woman - eight months pregnant - and her husband were submerged when the car flipped over.

The husband cried for help and Eddy Devauchelle, 42, dived in, pulling the unconscious woman to safety.

Police and fire crews soon arrived at the scene and the couple were rushed to a hospital in Amiens, where the pregnant woman is being kept under constant observation.

"A firefighter came to see me and said 'the baby and his mother are safe!'" Mr Devauchelle told a local paper, Le Courrier Picard.

Describing the rescue, he said he had first seen "a man in the river, with water up to his neck" and some people watching on the river bank.

"He cried 'Please save my wife!' I got out of my car, took off my jacket and got in, up to my neck - it was freezing," he said. "The husband was rooted to the spot - I told him, 'Let's get going!'"

Mr Devauchelle said he struggled to release the car door and free the unconscious woman from her seatbelt, but managed to pull her to the bank and put her in the recovery position.

Acknowledging the rescue, the prefect of the Picardy region and Somme, Michel Delpuech, "awarded this man the silver medal of bravery and dedication," the prefecture said in a statement.

The capital of the Somme department in Picardy, Amiens is 120km (75 miles) north of Paris.

Print Sponsor

Award for snow twins firefighters
07 Dec 09 |  Devon
Pregnant woman flees car in storm
14 Nov 09 |  Dorset
France country profile
12 Feb 12 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific