Officers honoured for efforts to save five killed in Leicester helicopter crash

·2 min read

Two officers who risked their lives trying to save Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others killed in a helicopter crash received royal honours for their actions at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

Sergeant Michael Hooper and Pc Stephen Quartermain, both of Leicestershire Police, were awarded Queen’s Gallantry Medals by the Duke of Cambridge.

The two officers, who were on duty during Leicester City’s match with West Ham United, were among the first on the scene after the aircraft spun out of control and came down outside the King Power Stadium in 2018.

Investitures at Windsor Castle
Sergeant Michael Hooper and Pc Stephen Quartermain are awarded Queen’s Gallantry Medals by the Duke of Cambridge (Yui Mok/PA)

The officers suffered heat and scorch marks to their faces after running towards the crash scene and trying to rescue people from the flaming wreckage.

Sgt Hooper told the PA news agency: “The incident was very tragic so it’s sad that it’s the circumstances in which we’ve been awarded it, but to be here today is a real honour.”

He went on to say: “I’d like to think that what we did was what any police officer would’ve done in those circumstances and I think we were just doing our duty really.”

Pc Quartermain said: “If it encourages people to come forward if they have any mental health issues, with trauma, if we can step forward and help people in our line of work to come to terms with that sort of thing, then it’s worthwhile.”

Leicester helicopter crash
Tributes paid at Leicester City Football Club after chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and others died in a helicopter crash in 2018 (Mike Egerton)

The officers said William, whom they had met before, spoke about the incident and asked if they had had support and counselling.

Both have had psychotherapy and other counselling, with the backing of Leicestershire Police, they said.

Pc Quartermain said: “We’ve both continued with our frontline duties throughout the whole thing as well because we’ve had that support.”

The officers’ efforts were previously recognised in 2019, when they were among four people nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards.

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