A MUTE teenager who teetered on the edge of a motorway bridge as cars roared below was saved when police officers pulled her to safety.

Four heroic officers are being awarded for their bravery when faced with a 'challenging situation' when the young girl climbed onto a thin ledge above the M40 in South Oxfordshire.

The youngster was facing the carriageway and clinging on to the bridge's railings, while her teachers tried to coax her down when PCs Victoria Justice, Matthew Huard, Sgt Andy Fiddler and Chief Inspector Henry Parsons arrived.

Sgt Fiddler recalls spotting the youngster and stationary vehicles on the bridge when driving back from a training day.

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He managed to close the motorway with help from the control room, while one of the teachers kept talking to the girl to keep her calm and reassured.

The pupil's teachers explained she was 'voluntary mute' making it 'extremely challenging' for officers to talk her down from a precarious position.

Selective mutism is a severe anxiety disorder where a person is unable to speak in certain social situations.

Sgt Fiddler said: "It was a very, very difficult situation… but you almost go in to robotic mode in your response. She was getting, closer and closer to the edge so we knew we had to act.”

PC Justice and PC Huard, who were also quick to the scene as reports came in, managed to strike up a conversation with the girl while police and firefighters devised a rescue plan.

The officers said the girl was edging ever nearer to the 'terrifying' drop below.

PC Justice said: "It was a challenging situation and given she wasn’t talking we didn’t know if she was just ignoring us, so we had to try and make her understand she wasn’t in any trouble.

“It was a plan put together with the firefighters and you can’t just go and grab someone particularly on the bridges because if it all goes wrong, there’s safety issues for us."

The officers crouched behind a vehicle before rushing to grab the girls and pull her to safety.

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Their bravery has won them a Thames Valley Police Federation Bravery award, federation chairman Craig O'Leary said the four acted with incredible calmness in a tense situation.

He added: "There was so much for them to think about. There was traffic roaring underneath the bridge on the M40 and given the girl was not communicative meant the whole situation had to be dealt with extremely delicately. We are very proud of all of them."

PC Justice added: "It’s quite surprising to win an award, because we kind of do stuff like this all the time."

The four officers will attend a ceremony on February 28, where an overall winner will be announced.

Updates will be published on Twitter using #TVPFedBravery