Daniel Franz

On April 7, the driver of an SUV remained inside his car after it left a highway and struck a rock wall that separated the road from a reservoir in Carmel, New York. The accident left the car straddling the wall, which was about 1 foot tall at the road, but dropped 7 feet to an embankment adjacent to the water. A 31-year-old conservation officer was patrolling the area and came upon the wreckage with driver Stan R. Pelletier, 68, inside. Leaking fuel ignited and flames burned on the undercarriage. Officer Daniel Franz of Mahopac, New York, fully entered the car and grasped Pelletier under his arms and pulled, but one of his legs was trapped. Pulling again with more force, Pelletier’s leg came free and, backing out of the car, Franz dragged him across the center console and out the front, passenger door. Flames engulfed the vehicle and Franz attempted to block Pelletier from the intense heat by standing between the car and Pelletier. Other responders arrived and helped the man to the road, where he was taken by ambulance for treatment of severe injuries incurred in the accident. Franz was not injured.