ROYAL medals have been presented to two officers, who were among the first on the scene of a tragic helicopter crash in Leicester, which claimed the lives of five people.
Sergeant Michael Hooper and Constable Stephen Quartermain from Leicestershire Police, were among the first on the scene, when the helicopter came down outside Leicester City Football Club’s King Power Stadium on October 27, 2018.
The club’s chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, along with Kaveporn Punpare, Nusara Suknamai, Eric Swaffer and Izabela Lechowicz died when the helicopter span out of control back on October 27, 2018.
The two officers were on duty during Leicester City’s match with West Ham United on the day of the crash, which happened at around 8.30pm.
They sustained heat and scorch marks to their faces, as well as smoke inhalation as they attempted to rescue people from the flaming wreckage.
Yesterday, they were presented with Queen’s Gallantry Medals by his Royal Highness, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, at Windsor Castle.
“I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have received this award. Whilst it was extraordinary circumstances and something that no police officer would ever want to face in their entire career, I know that I only acted instinctively; how any other officer from across the country would have reacted,” said PS Hooper.
“When I found out about the award I was shocked. It feels quite surreal, however I am honoured and humbled,” added PC Quartermain.
The efforts of the two officers were recognised previously in 2019, when they were nominated for National Police Bravery Awards.
Tweeting on their social media, a spokesman for Leicester City Football Club said that the awards were a “fitting recognition for the courage,” of the two officers.
“To them and everyone who responded on and in the days after 27 October, 2018, LCFC will be forever grateful,” they added.