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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 January 2006, 19:48 GMT
Crash 'rescuer' admits fake story
Crash scene
The plane came down near a children's theme park
A window cleaner awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery for saving two people from a burning aircraft has admitted to an inquest that he lied.

Nigel Gallimore had claimed he rescued the pair after their plane crashed near Bournemouth Airport.

A third man on the plane, Andrew Anderson, 41, died in the crash near a theme park on 28 August 2004.

Mr Gallimore, from Dorset, admitted his claims were false. The inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

In the heat of the moment I probably said things that didn't happen
Nigel Gallimore

Former corporal Michael Winstanley, who was driving his van when he witnessed the crash, did help to save the two men's lives by dragging them away from the flames.

Outside the coroner's court in Bournemouth on Tuesday, he said: "He (Mr Gallimore) has got to be sick.

"I'm not a hero. I just had to do it.

"For him to turn around and claim the Queen's award for bravery, which I don't deserve, he doesn't deserve it.

"If anyone, the pilot deserves it. If that plane had come down in the Alice in Wonderland theme park, there would have been a lot more fatalities."

Burning wreckage

During the hearing itself, Mr Gallimore, from Throop, admitted: "A lot of things happened and a lot was being asked.

"In the heat of the moment I probably said things that didn't happen."

The crash happened as the three men on the plane were en route from their Guernsey homes to Henstridge, Somerset.

Witnesses said the wreckage was burning too fiercely for anyone to get close enough to rescue Mr Anderson.

Pilot Robert Le Page, an architect and chartered surveyor, and second passenger David Bougord, both 55, managed to get free.

'Rescue effort'

They were treated for serious burns in Salisbury Hospital.

Mr Winstanley told the inquest: "I saw someone climbing out of the window from the left-hand side door.

"I ran over to this person who was struggling to his feet and I led him to safety and laid him down on the road.

"I then looked up and back towards the aircraft and saw someone else emerging from it via the same window and fall to the ground.

"I also assisted him to his feet and escorted him to my van."

The jury of six men and five women took one hour to reach their verdict.




SEE ALSO:
Inquest into plane crash death
07 Sep 04 |  Guernsey


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