it started out as a normal day for Nelson Anthony and Campbell Keating as they grabbed their rucksacks and headed off to school.
But as they made their way down Grange Road, disaster struck at rush hour as two cars collided on the busy thoroughfare, spreading sharp debris.
Without hesitation, the 15-year-olds, who are both S3 pupils at James Gillespie’s High School and have had first aid training, rushed to help the victims and ensured they safely got out of their cars. They then proceeded to stop the traffic while they cleared the debris from the road.
They have now been praised for their quick-thinking by the school community, with head teacher Donald MacDonald stressing he was “immensely proud”.
Campbell said: “The crash looked so dangerous. We reacted straight away, we couldn’t have just walked by and not got involved.
“Nelson had just got off the bus before it happened. It involved a girl in a Toyota and private hire car. It happened right before our eyes.
“Nelson went and quickly helped the man in the private hire car – he had a spinal injury so Nelson held the door to let him get out. The girl in the Toyota was screaming and crying, she had her phone in her hand and her car was smashed up the most.
“I noticed her car engine was leaking oil and there was a green wire hanging out, smoke was starting to appear and I thought an electrical fire was about to start.”
After ushering both drivers onto the pavement, as the pair waited for the police to arrive one of them stopped the traffic while the other cleared the debris from the road.
Nelson said: “I started learning first aid about seven years ago but this is the first time I’ve put it to use. It’s great our actions are being recognised.”
Following the crash, Mr MacDonald received an email from Mike Grieve at Edinburgh University’s Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies, thanking the pupils for coming to the aid of a female student who was involved in the collision.
Mr MacDonald, said: “We are so proud of both Nelson and Campbell for what they did.
“I think there is a general thought out there that young people are not caring, they are not thoughtful and are sensitive towards others feelings.
“However, my daily experience having worked with young people for 35 years is that they are.
“What happened reinforces the values and actions that our young people can indeed take.
“They did this without hesitation, it wasn’t initiated and going to the assistance of those who were injured was remarkable.
“Also taking control and directing traffic at rush hour is even more remarkable.
“As a school community we are immensely proud.”