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‘I thought it would blow up’ - Man who pulled Prince Philip out of wreckage describes rescuing baby from smoke-filled car

PUBLISHED: 11:22 18 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:51 18 January 2019

Prince Philip's car being made ready for recovery after he was involved in a crash on the A149 at Babingley, near King’s Lynn. Photo: Chris Bishop

Prince Philip's car being made ready for recovery after he was involved in a crash on the A149 at Babingley, near King’s Lynn. Photo: Chris Bishop

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Just moments before the accident, Thornham couple Roy and Victoria Warne were in high spirits after receiving good news from the hospital.

The Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a collision at Babingley, near the Sandringham Estate. Picture: Matthew Usher.The Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a collision at Babingley, near the Sandringham Estate. Picture: Matthew Usher.

But this was quickly thwarted after witnessing the horrendous crash which saw Prince Philip’s Freelander hurtle across the road and crash on its side on a verge.

Mr Warne, 75, was behind the collision between the Freelander and Kia which happened at around 3pm on Thursday on the A149 at Babingley, near King’s Lynn.

The couple were on their way home from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital(QEH) in King’s Lynn, after Mrs Warne was given the all clear from breast cancer. “We had extremely good news and were looking forward to opening a bottle of champagne,” he said.

“It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon, the sun was really low on the horizon, I was wearing sunglasses it was that bright.”

But their celebration had to be cut short after they saw the Freelander roll across the carriageway. They described almost immediately hearing the screams of a baby.

“The other car was my concern,” he said. “There was smoke and I thought it would blow up.”

Mr Warne and another passerby pulled the 10-month-old baby and two women out of the Kia before heading to the flipped over car. 
“He was trapped,” Mr Warne said. “I asked him to move his left leg and he said ‘where to?’

The Duke of Edinburgh's car after it was involved in a collision at Babingley, near King's Lynn, this afternoon  Picture: Chris Bishop The Duke of Edinburgh's car after it was involved in a collision at Babingley, near King's Lynn, this afternoon Picture: Chris Bishop

“I then opened the sun roof or windscreen - where the door should’ve been - put my arm under his arm and helped this old chap out.”

It was not until after he pulled Prince Philip out of the car and was stood in front of him that Mr Warne realised who he had just rescued from the vehicle.

“It was surreal,” he said. “On this beautiful stretch of road for a horrendous crash to happen, there was debris everywhere, and then it turned out to be the Duke of Edinburgh.

“He said to my wife he was dazzled by the sun, he spoke to the other people to ask if they were okay.

“He was obviously shaken. I had a little blood on my hands and was given a wipe to wipe my hands, but whatever it was it was very minor.

“It was a miracle that nobody was seriously hurt.”

Media gather at the roadside of the A149 at Babingley where the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip,  had an accident. Photo: Emily PrinceMedia gather at the roadside of the A149 at Babingley where the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, had an accident. Photo: Emily Prince

Emergency services arrived shortly afterwards and the two women and baby were taken to the QEH, where they were treated for minor injuries before being released later that night.

The driver of the Kia, a 28-year-old woman, suffered cuts to her knee while the passenger, a 45-year-old woman, sustained a broken wrist. Police confirmed the baby boy was uninjured.

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