South Perth resident recognised for act of bravery


Matt Shales of South Perth has received a Commendation for Brave Conduct as part of the Australian Bravery Awards for saving two people from a burning car crash on Canning Highway. Picture: Matt Jelonek
Matt Shales of South Perth has received a Commendation for Brave Conduct as part of the Australian Bravery Awards for saving two people from a burning car crash on Canning Highway. Picture: Matt Jelonek

SAVING two people from a fiery car crash in a brave and selfless act has earned South Perth resident Matt Shales recognition.

His courageous act to pull the men out of the car after it hit a power pole on Canning Highway during the evening of June 23, 2015, resulted in him receiving a Commendation for Brave Conduct as part of the Australian Bravery Awards.

Mr Shales said he was taking his rubbish bins to the front of his house when he saw the car collide with the pole and the front end of the vehicle caught fire.

“At first I saw the car flying through the air and it was quite a spectacle, but then it clicked in that it was real life,” he said.

“I was in the shock, but then I heard a moan so I jumped over my fence and dragged out the passenger through the window.

“He was OK but the drive fell into the back of the car and he had a broken leg.

“It was one of those things; before I knew it I was in the middle of it and I can remember my girlfriend yelling at me to get away.”

Mr Shales said he was worried about the fuel tank but once he saw it down the road, he knew it was safer to save the two men.

“The fire was just contained to the engine at first and hadn’t spread to the cabin yet,” he said.

“The police came along and handcuffed the two guys.

“I never got their names or found out what happened to them.

“I stepped on some glass but apart from that I was fine. Not long after the fire brigade came.”

“I didn’t think much of it until I received the letter that said I had received the award.

“I’m not sure who nominated me; I didn’t tell too many people apart from my family, so I want to get to the bottom of that.”