16 May, 2021
Locals bravery recognised
Gilgandra locals Ian, Jules and Nash Marchant were deserving recipients of a certificate of appreciation from the Western Region Police Force last week.
In 2017, Ian, Jules and their children were on their way home from a wedding, travelling down the hill towards Dunedoo.
They saw black smoke in the sky, and as they got closer, they noticed it was coming from a truck that had flipped, with the driver still inside. It was the work of instinct and adrenaline that made Ian, Jules and their son Nash get to work on trying to rescue what was thought to be the unconscious driver.
“I gave Nash a blanket, he was down the street directing traffic away from people. Hopefully making people not come past while my husband and I were up in the cab trying to get the driver out,” said Mrs Marchant.
“My husband and I broke the windows to try and get the guy out, but we just couldn’t reach, he was so far in. We were probably about four inches away from reaching him and we were getting burns on our arms.” The farmer in the field next to the incident was alerted by Nash, who rang and got emergency services on the scene.
“I’m not sure what the driver was carrying, but it had a lot of tins in it, and you could hear the ‘tin, tin’ sound, like it was ready to explode.”
“We were there for about an hour helping this guy,” said Mrs Marchant.
“The flames just got too hot, and my husband and I had to step back because we couldn’t get any further in.”
It was later determined that the driver had had a heart attack and passed away, which was the reason he had initially run off the road and tipped the truck.
“It was family meeting of trying to help someone,” said Mrs Marchant.
The certificate of appreciation was awarded at a ceremony in Dubbo last Wednesday, April 28. The award was handed out parallel to police officers receiving their badges and other medals.