AN off-duty policeman, who rescued a toddler that had walked on to the busy road, has been commended for her brave actions.

PC Sarah Evans was walking to her car parked on the Uxbridge Road after her shift at Southall police station when she noticed a young child, wearing bright pink, at the rear of a parked car.

PC Evans was speaking to her sister on the phone when, to her disbelief, the child started to walk into the dual carriageway.

She dropped her phone and, with little thought for her own safety and in the path of an advancing HGV, ran into the road to save the child.

On returning the child to the pavement, PC Evans collapsed in the road, having seriously injured her knee. Colleagues watched in horror as the HGV just managed to stop before hitting the officer, who was unable to move.

She was dragged to safety by colleagues before an ambulance arrived to take her to hospital.

Before leaving the scene, the mother of the young child knocked on the door of the ambulance to express her thanks. The incident was over in minutes but the repercussions for the officer were still to come.

At the hospital, PC Evans was expecting to have some precautionary scans and be sent home, but doctors explained she had a serious fracture, and they needed to operate immediately.

The surgery took place the next morning, and PC Evans had a metal plate and five large screws implanted in her knee, followed by five days in hospital to recover.

She said: “I believe my actions were not only my duty as a police officer but also as a human being. I am sure that anyone else who was in my position at the time would have done exactly the same.”

Ealing Borough Commander Nev Nolan commented: "The actions that PC Evans took show not only her bravery but also her ability to think quickly in a pressurised situation.

"She was off duty at the time but acted without any thought for her own safety, to assist in saving the toddler from serious injury.”

Certificates of commendation are awarded on a quarterly basis to officers, staff and members of the public for displaying exceptional bravery, tenacity, leadership or professionalism.