A LYDFORD resident was presented with a police Good Citizenship award this week for her efforts in trying to save the life of a road traffic accident victim.

Helen Hardy, who is a nurse at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital looking after children who are ill with cancer, discovered the accident minutes after leaving her home last autumn.

The Chief Constable's citation says that Mrs Hardy went to the assistance of a motorcyclist. 'She found no pulse and carried out mouth to mouth resuscitation for approximately twenty minutes until the ambulance arrived at the scene.'

The citation states that the actions of Mrs Hardy prevented the man dying at the scene within minutes of the accident.

An air ambulance took the casualty to Derriford Hospital, but unfortunately he died four hours later.

Helen said she was embarrassed and lost for words when she was told about the award.

She said: 'I was on my way to a child who was dying when I came across the motorcyclist and thought "I've just got to stop".'

Helen was sad at the eventual outcome.

'Even though you are a nurse, it is still very emotionally upsetting when someone dies and you realise how short life is,' she said.

Helen felt that the policeman and others at the scene all did their best and she was surprised to be singled out for the award.

Police spokesman Paul Slaven said: 'We are always grateful for the assistance of the public in these sorts of circumstances.

'Often they are the first at the scene of an accident and we appreciate their help in calling us and coping until help arrives.'

Paul Slaven added: 'Helen thoroughly deserves this award and we are very grateful to her for her assistance.

'Her efforts deserve to be recognised.'

Helen was presented with her award during a ceremony at Bickleigh Castle near Tiverton on Tuesday evening.

Other members of the public plus members of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary also received awards from the force Chief Constable.