Brave Dylan Graves, 12, is to be honoured for pushing his friend out of the path of a runaway car. Catherine Scott meets him and his proud mum.
Seeing 12 year olds Dylan Graves and James Yeadon playing in the garden they look like any other friends.
But what binds these two together is much stronger than a normal friendship.
Just a few months ago Dylan saved James’s life when he pushed his smaller friend out of the path of a runaway car, taking the force himself.
Dylan was dragged under the driverless Vauxhall Vectra for more than 30 seconds before it was eventually stopped by a fence.
Dylan suffered severe injuries including two broken vertebrae but amazingly he only stayed in hospital over night and had to have two months off school.
Now,the 12 year old from Bradford, is to receive the Child of Courage award at this year’s Pride of Britain Awards at a star-studded ceremony in London on Monday which will be screened on ITV on Tuesday.
Dylan was nominated for the award by James’s mother Rachael .
“Dylan is my son’s guardian angel. Words can’t describe how grateful I am.”
The terrifying incident happened a few hundred yards from Dylan’s home in Bradford, at around 5pm on January 11 this year when the driverless car mounted the pavement where the boys were walking
“The car was going quite fast and I had two seconds to react,” says Dylan.
“ I didn’t have time to think, I just pushed James out the way. He’s a lot smaller than me and he would have been killed if it had hit him.
“I was dragged under. I said to James to get my mum, I thought I was going to die.”
Dylan’s mum Natasha, says: “James ran to my house shouting that Dylan had been run over.
“At first I thought he might have been clipped or something but I went outside and I couldn’t see him. All I could see was the car on the pavement against a fence.”
Fearing the worst, Natasha, 37, held Dylan’s hand as he lay trapped under the car.
“Dylan is normally a typical young lad but he said ‘mum I love you’ three times while he was trapped.
“He thought he was going to die, but he stayed calm and didn’t cry or moan. Unlike me and my sister who were hysterical and calling for help.”
He was dragged under the car, which police believe had a faulty or unsecured hand brake, and left trapped when it came to a halt after smashing into a fence.
“Fortunately Dylan managed to keep his head up as he was dragged along, because he knew he would have been killed if it had touched the ground. He was trapped underneath in the foetal position stuck behind a wheel, it was absolutely horrendous,” says Natasha.
Fire and ambulance crews managed to lift the car off the trapped boy.
“Dylan just stood up, I couldn’t believe it. The ambulancemen shouted at him to lie down because they didn’t know what injuries he had sustained.”
The Manchester United fan suffered back injuries, broken ribs and a fractured pelvis, was off school for eight weeks and has had to give up football while he recovers, although he has managed to get back onto his beloved scooter.
Despite his injuries his first thought in the ambulance was to ask after James.
“It was only after Dylan went to hospital that he told me what had happened, I think he thought he was going to get in trouble at first. Dylan had literally seconds to react but he saved James’ life and I’ll always be proud of him for what he did that day.”
James, also 12, says he owes Dylan his life. He will be joining his friend at Monday’s Pride of Britain Awards.
“If he hadn’t pushed me out the way I would have been killed. I think he’s an amazing mate, he’s really brave,” says James.
“He saved my life because I’m a lot smaller than him. He’s my hero.”
Natasha says ever since the two boys met at secondary school last year they have been inseparable.
“I think because James is a lot smaller than Dylan he feels protective over him. And since the accident happened they are even closer.”
Natasha says she has struggled since the accident not allowing Dylan out on his own, and worrying about his safety especially as the evenings get darker.
While Dylan is looking forward to meeting all the stars during his three day trip to London which will be his first visit to the Capital, for Natasha and Dylan’s dad,Alex it will be much-needed closure.
“Dylan has been amazing since the accident, he seems to take it all in his stride. I have been the one going over and over it again in my mind and realising just how lucky he was and how close we were to losing him.
“He is really excited about going to London for the first time. He is really hoping that he might meet David Beckham. It is great that he is getting the recognition we think he really deserves. He is a really special person, to do something like that at just 12.
“For me it will be the chance to draw a line under what happened.”
Susanna Reid, on the of the Pride of Britain judges said: “Dylan represents a form of courage that many adults might not show, let alone a child. Instead of running or screaming, he pushed his friend half the size of him out the way. He saved his life and was very badly injured himself. It’s extraordinary.”
As for Dylan, despite his injuries and time off school, he says he would do the same things again if it meant saving James’s life.
Watch the Pride of Britain Awards on 1st November at 8pm on ITV