Bravery award for woman who confronted murderer

Murder victim Tracy Dryden
Murder victim Tracy Dryden

A PASSER-BY who stopped to help a woman following a fatal stabbing has received a prestigious award to honour her heroic actions.

Samantha Oram, from Lancaster, was presented with the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society Award to recognise the assistance she gave to 37-year-old Tracy Dryden as she lay dying by the roadside.

Tracy had been set upon by her estranged husband, John Dryden, on School House Lane, Halton, near Lancaster, at 8.30am on a Friday morning in March last year.

Fitness enthusiast Tracy, from Ingleton in North Yorkshire, worked in Morecambe and would drive part of the way to work and then cycle for the remainder of her journey. Dryden stabbed her in the chest with a kitchen knife as she removed her bicycle from her car.

After attacking Tracy, Dryden waited at the scene for the police to arrive. Samantha Oram, who lived nearby, was driving to work when she saw Tracy on the ground, and as she was in her cycling outfit and her discarded bike was beside her, assumed there had been a road traffic accident.

Mrs Oram stopped to offer assistance, placing herself between Tracy and Dryden while contacting the emergency services. When it became apparent that Tracy had been attacked by Dryden, Mrs Oram stayed with the mother-of-two. She ordered Dryden to move away while she did what she could to help Tracy, although she sadly passed away while holding Mrs Oram’s hand.

As a mark of her bravery, Mrs Oram was presented with the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society Award by Detective Chief Superintendent Graham Gardner last week.

The Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society Award is given in recognition of acts bravery and life-saving in Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire and the Port of Liverpool.

Mrs Oram was also presented with a letter of thanks from Lancashire Constabulary’s Chief Constable, Steve Finnigan.

Detective Sergeant Clive O’Beirne, who worked on the subsequent police investigation and who nominated Mrs Oram for the award, said: “After stopping to help, Mrs Oram eventually became aware of the fact that there had not been a traffic accident but that Tracy had been attacked by a man who still at the scene and who had access to a knife.

“In amongst these very confusing moments, Mrs Oram had to grasp the conflicting information and the possibility of grave danger to herself, whilst attempting to comfort and tend to Tracy who was bleeding heavily from a chest wound.”

He added: “I am very proud of Mrs Oram’s remarkable humility, actions and bravery. She is an outstanding individual who went beyond what was required or expected of her. She will not consider her actions to be brave, nor is she likely to accept she has done anything more than anybody else would have done in similar circumstances, but it is my opinion and belief that Mrs Oram’s actions are more than worthy of this recognition.”

Dryden, of Thacking Lane, Ingleton, North Yorkshire pleaded guilty to murdering Tracy and was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in June last year.