A POLICEMAN from Bellshill is to receive a top national bravery award for his part in a life-and-death battle to search a raging river for survivors of an horrific school bus crash.
PC Russell Davidson (44) is one of four officers being given an award by the Royal Humane Society for wading into the river in the darkness and heavy snow in search of survivors of the crash which happened near Biggar and claimed the life of a schoolgirl from Lanark.
PC Davidson is one of four Lanarkshire officers honoured for their rescue efforts last March and will recieve a Certificate of Commendation.
Society secretary Dick Wilkinson said: “These four officers carried out a brave search in harrowing and dangerous conditions,” he said.
“They did everything possible to save lives and richly deserve their awards.”
A single-decker bus carrying 30 children and five adults crashed in the early hours of the morning in treacherous weather conditions and tumbled down an embankment into the fast flowing river.
The officers waded into the rising waters with members of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, recovering the body of 17-year-old pupil Natasha Paton.
Chief Inspector Stewart Carle of the Road Policing Department, Motherwell, commented, “The swift actions of the first police officers on the scene who entered the water and then the overturned coach, were undoutedly very brave..”
No date has yet been set for the presentation.