LONDON: An Indian-origin delivery van driver was today awarded the 'Pride of Britain Award' for risking his life to save others.
49-year-old Dee Patel, being hailed a "hero", received the award in the outstanding bravery category in a glittering ceremony organised by 'Daily Mirror' newspaper at the Grosvenor House here.
"Having grown up with Superman and Batman, you want to be them. I'm glad I reacted in the right way and I hope I'd do it again," Patel said.
On May 18, Patel loaded up his van and set off on a routine job when he was faced with a terrifying life-or-death situation when he spotted a car ahead of him that was dangerously out of control on the M25 motorway.
Patel sprang into action after realising that the driver, a young woman, was unconscious and a high-speed pile-up seemed inevitable.
"I saw that there was nobody in control of the vehicle. She was slumped over the steering wheel. "As she came back across she ended up right in front of me. I instantly saw what I needed to do-- I had to slow her down," Patel was quoted as saying by The Mirror.
Founded in 1999, the 'Pride of Britain Awards' are presented to the country's unsung heroes. The winners are decided by a panel of distinguished judges and is jointly supported by the Daily Mirror, Lidl, ITV, Daybreak and the Prince's Trust.
Prince Charles, who was also present at the award congratulated Patel for his brave act.
"The Pride of Britain Awards are a unique way to celebrate the achievements of the most remarkable people," he said.
British journalist and TV presenter Mark Austin, one of the jury members for the award, said, "How many of us would have the presence of mind to think of what he did, and then the sheer courage to actually do it? He risked his own life to save others – that's truly heroic."
Thames Valley Police also recognised Patel's brave actions and commended him for using his vehicle to stop the woman's car.
In an email, a Thames Valley officer said, "It takes a lot of courage to intentionally use your vehicle to stop another that is out of control and for that you deserve a huge pat on the back."