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Hero used his own car to stop vehicle on M62 near Leeds after driver collapses behind the wheel

Hero used his own car to stop vehicle on M62 near Leeds after driver collapses behind the wheel.

A motorist has today been hailed a hero after he dramatically put himself in direct danger by using his own car to stop another vehicle on the M62 when he noticed the driver had collapsed behind the wheel.

Hero John Barlow was driving his Hyundai car on the eastbound side of the motorway near Leeds on Saturday (3rd September) when he spotted the car travelling slowly within the outside lane.

Having feared the worst he pulled along side the car and noticed the driver was slumped over the wheel.

Posting on Facebook he said “He looked dead at the wheel. I could see his lips were blue and he had blood trickling down his face.

“His head was tilting forward. I thought, ‘oh my God, I’ve got to stop him’.”

Mr Barlow, who was with his wife Kirsty and son Joey on the way to Pontefract, pulled in front of the Audi, took his foot off the accelerator and eased the car behind to a halt.

He said his son screamed as the two cars collided.

“I guess the car behind was going 30mph, he hit my car a couple of times and then we came to a stop,” he said.

After trying to break into the locked vehicle using his elbow, Mr Barlow was helped by a passing tradesman with a hammer to get access to the stricken middle-aged driver, and then tilted his head back to free his airway.

Others then stopped to help, including a doctor on the other carriageway of the M62 who travelled to the next junction, turned around and battled through the backed-up traffic to get to work with a defibrillator.

The next day Mr Barlow received a call from West Yorkshire Police thanking him and he was told the driver had suffered a seizure but was well enough to go home.

He had a huge reaction after posting about the incident on Facebook, with more than 65,000 people liking the post. Many of the 10,000 people who commented described him as a “hero”.

Susan Cookson wrote: “You definitely saved more than one life! You are a hero, the world needs more people like you!”

Jackie Lawson said: “Amazing. What a wonderful human being you are.”

But Mr Barlow was reluctant to see himself as heroic. He said: “Everyone was amazing, it was a real team effort. They got the man on the floor, then the doctor jumped in as well.”

He hoped to meet the man he saved in the future, saying: “I’d shake his hand and give him a hug.”

And he asked for people to think about taking a first aid course and having something in their car that could be used to break a window in an emergency.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said officers were called to the scene at around 3.15pm on Saturday.

They said: “When officers arrived on scene it was established that the driver of the car, a man in his seventies, was having a medical episode.

“It was also established that the car had been brought to a safe stop by another motorist, therefore averting any potential serious collision.

“Emergency services were requested to attend and a road closure was put in place while the man was taken to hospital for further treatment.”

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