You can’t buy publicity like this.

In the UK a passer-by used his Jeep to pull a 40-tonne truck out of a snowdrift so an ambulance could pass.

The articulated truck had been stuck at the side of the road in heavy snow and was blocking an ambulance with a patient on board.

Mark Blessed, of St Austell, Cornwall, tethered his 20-year-old Wrangler to the bogged truck and helped haul it to safety.

It was one of several vehicles that Mark selflessly helped out of trouble during a night of heavy snowstorms in Cornwall earlier this year.

As well as a Local Heroes award from radio station Pirate FM, the good Samaritan was also recognised by Jeep UK which gave him a new spare wheel cover for his Wrangler and other Jeep gifts (wow they really know how to turn it on).

jeep - jeep tows truck 2 - Jeep pulls truck out of snowdrift
Mark Blessed

“Somehow my little Jeep managed to tow a 40 tonne lorry and let him go on his way,” Blessed said.

“So many people were standing and cheering – it just goes to show how one little thing that you do affects so many different people along the way. I just did a good deed, not to be recognised.”

Pirate FM’s Holly Day said: “We were inundated with nominations for hundreds of very deserving people in Cornwall, but Mark really stood out as the epitome of a good neighbour.”

Jeep UK’s marketing manager Andrew Tracey added: “When we heard about Mark’s generous actions, and the fact that he was able to help clear the road of a 40-tonne truck using his Wrangler, we were absolutely delighted.

“Mark fully deserves this recognition and we were happy to send him some gifts with our good wishes.”

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Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.