Stacy L. Behan rescued Robert T. Chilinski from burning, Tivoli, New York, April 26, 2009. Chilinski, 26, was the driver of a car that, late at night, left the highway and, striking trees and overturning, came to rest upright in a field. Unconscious, he remained in the driver’s seat as flames broke out on the vehicle and entered it on the passenger side through the missing windshield. Behan, 40, homemaker, who lived nearby, ran to the scene in her nightclothes after hearing the accident. She approached the driver’s door and, finding it partially ajar, opened it further. Wedging the door open with her back, she extended her upper body into the car and unlatched Chilinski’s safety belt. Behan wrapped her arms around Chilinski, who outweighed her by 55 pounds, and pulled him out of the vehicle and to the ground. Her husband, who had reported the accident, and a police officer arrived about then and dragged Chilinski farther away to safety. Flames soon engulfed the vehicle. Chilinski required hospitalization for treatment of his injuries, which included burns. Behan recovered from a cut to her back.
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