Robert C. Swartz, Jr., helped to save Laura F. Cuthbert from electrocution, Syracuse, New York, October 1, 1997. Ms. Cuthbert, 37, was the driver of an automobile that was stopped at a downtown intersection when a 300-ton truck crane at a nearby construction site overturned. The falling 300-foot boom of the crane pulled down wires, including one of a primary electric line carrying more than 4,000 volts, then struck and lay atop Ms. Cuthbert’s car. Working at the site, Swartz, 25, apprentice electrician, immediately responded to the scene. Taking care to avoid the downed lines, he and two co-workers approached the car, not knowing if any of the lines or the car or boom were energized. Ms. Cuthbert yelled for help. After one of the two other men touched the body of the car and was not shocked, Swartz and the two men pulled at the driver’s door until the glass in its window shattered. Although still uncertain as to the possibility of any electrical charge, the men reached through the window, grasped Ms. Cuthbert, and, with difficulty, pulled her from the car, feet first. She walked away from the car, having sustained cuts and bruises, for which she received hospital treatment. She recovered.
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