YOUNG Queanbeyan man Tristan Kilpatrick had been driving for just three weeks when he found himself saving the life of another road user.
The then 18-year-old mechanic was driving his work ute along Gilmore Road in late October 2012 when a motorcyclist crashed into his vehicle, severing a leg in the process.
Tristan said he immediately "went into autopilot," administering first aid to the motorcyclist and helping to stem the bleeding until emergency services arrived.
"He lost control as he came around the corner and collided with the ute, and his leg was severed by my ute and he ended up being flung off his bike," Tristan said this week.
"I managed to get my door open, and grabbed a ratchet strap off the back of my ute, and basically tourniqueted his leg and tried to call Triple 0 at the same time."
It all unfolded in a matter of minutes, but Tristan can still recall the shock of seeing a severed leg on the road by his car.
"It was quite confronting to get out [of the car] and see his leg just sitting there at the door," he said.
"You go into autopilot. I could see that he was hurt, so I went to help him. I wasn't really concerned about the vehicle. I was more concerned about him ... it all happened in the space of a couple of minutes really.
"As soon as the police arrived I basically went into a state of shock afterward."
Queanbeyan police recognised the local man's bravery and quick thinking this week at their annual police awards ceremony on Tuesday, awarding him a certificate of appreciation.
Leading Senior Constable Richard Pearce was on the scene of the Gilmore Road accident not long after it occured, and said police were "very impressed" with the way Tristan handled himself in a tough situation.
"It was horrific. Even police officers who have been doing the job for a number of years were pretty shocked by what they saw," he said.
"Tristan went past the normal bounds, that's for sure.
"The combined actions of Tristan and the police officers who attended definitely contributed to saving that man's life."
A number of local police were also honoured for their integrity, professionalism and service to the NSW Police Force on the day, and were recognised for their achievement in front of local member John Barilaro, Deputy mayor Peter Bray and Assistant Commissioner Kyle Stewart.
Meanwhile, Tristan Kilpatrick is now planning on putting himself into more emergency situations to help Queanbeyan people and recently signed up with the Queanbeyan Rural Fire Service.