02:39AM, Thursday 03 May 2012
A badly-injured driver dragged free from the wreckage of his burning car moments before it exploded in the early hours of New Year's Day had been driving without a licence.
Heroes Zac Wilson and Dimitri Mardari risked their own safety to pull stricken Nodari Babeav from his Mercedes after it ploughed into a ditch near his home on the Bath Road, close to the Seven Stars pub in Knowl Hill.
The two cousins, driving home at 4am after a night out, were praised by firefighters for saving the 34-year-old's life.
But Babeav has now appeared in court where he admitted driving without due care and attention, without insurance and without a licence.
Dad-of-one Zac, who lives in nearby Choseley Close, said he was 'disappointed' to find out the man he saved had been behind the wheel illegally.
"He shouldn’t have been driving and someone could have been seriously hurt because of his actions," he said.
Babaev, originally from Russia, was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading and was in a critical condition. He is still recovering from the smash and has not returned to work.
Zac, 35, who works as a delivery driver for Grundon Waste Management in Knowl Hill, visited him after he was released from hospital at the end of January but has not heard from him since.
Speaking at his home on Tuesday, Babaev said he had no memory of what led to the accident and wanted to thank the two men who pulled him to safety.
When asked if he should have been driving without a licence he added: "It could have happened to anyone at anytime."
He was fined £147, given six penalty points and told to pay £100 costs when he appeared at Slough Magistrates Court on Monday last week.
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Police raided addresses in Lillibrooke Crescent, Cox Green, and in Crown Lane, Farnham Royal, at about 7.15am.