Skip to comments.State trooper pulls woman from burning car (Illinois)
Posted on 02/24/2012 6:52:19 PM PST by Graybeard58
State Trooper Zachary Peters peered into the window of the burning car smashed into the toll plaza and saw a bleeding woman inside, hunched over and unconscious.
Unable to open the doors, Peters broke a window, cutting his hands. He breathed in big gulps of black smoke as he worked feverishly to pry the woman out.
Her legs were stuck underneath her seat, and there was a lot of blood in her hair. The air bags had deployed, and she was not wearing her seat belt, Peters said. She was wedged in there pretty well, and it was kind of hard getting her out of the car.
But he did get her out, and the woman Peters rescued is recovering in serious condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
And Peters, 37, a 12-year veteran of the Illinois State Police, was hailed as a hero Friday.
It could have burst into flames. It could have been much [more] dangerous than what it was, East Hazel Crest Fire Dept. Captain Kevin Vallow said of the burning car.
Peters was doing his interstate run around 2:30 a.m. Friday, entering I-80 near Hazel Crest, when he saw the burning 2006 Nissan four-door vehicle crashed into the Halsted Street Toll Plaza on I-294.
He phoned for help, then quickly went up to the car himself and saw the car and the bleeding woman inside, He pulled the woman later identified as Erin Murray, 34, of Harvey from the car before first responders arrived on the scene.
Murray was later charged with drunk driving, driving on a suspended license, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. She suffered a broken leg and ankle and internal bleeding, authorities said.
Peters, who is the married father of two with a third on the way, was treated for smoke inhalation and cuts to both hands at St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields, and released.
We are grateful that he was able to go home to his family, State Police Director Hiram Grau said.
Recovering at home, still short of breath and with a voice gravelly from the smoke he took in, Peters perhaps not surprisingly shrugged off any talk of heroism.
This morning, I dont know if it was luck on our side, or God looking down on us, but the engine fire put itself out, maybe because of the snow, he said. I just remember thinking that I had to get her out of there as quickly as I could or we were both going to burn up. I dont think Im a hero. Its my job. Thats what state troopers do.
Its certainly what Peters does.
In 2008, he came across a crash on I-90 westbound at the Ontario feeder ramp and found a victim lying on the shoulder with his leg nearly severed. The trooper applied direct pressure on the wound, and then with the help of another trooper applied a tourniquet until paramedics arrived.
Officials said the emergency room doctor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital advised State Police the victim would have died had Peters not stopped the bleeding.
This trooper is no stranger to placing his life in danger, and his selfless actions speak volumes to the dedication of his police service, Grau said.
THANKS TO THE GOOD GUYS FOR KEEPING US ALL SAFE, HERE AT HOME AND OVERSEAS!
when I get down about 2012, I remember there are others who are doing way more than me!
Hand salute, and a thanks for a guy that says what he means, and means what he says.
Thank God for these State Troopers, Policemen, Sheriffs and other men and women that accept it as their job, and do it.
For these men and women are ministers of God.(Romans 13:4)
Give the guy a big fat raise.
Sounds like a nightmare scenario.
Unfortunately, shortly after being pulled from the wreckage, the injured woman was tased
I’m glad he wasn’t hurt, because I’d hate to see a decent family man give his life to save some stupid drunken wench.
That really wasn't necessary in the context of this story. The officer risked his very life to save the woman. When you generalize all people into one category of person you don't like, you make YOURSELF look foolish, prejudiced and ignorant.
Very out of character for a LEO...
Props to the Leo, stupid women..
Toll booths/plazas kill.. they should all be removed and replaced with open roadways.
What, you want the troopers to just shoot them? You know if you resist today, you are going to get tased, so why not just do what they say? I look at tasers as a safety net for our law enforcement officers, and yes, the suspects.
That settles it - expect her to sue the guy who saved her life and claim he exacerbated her injuries...
“Thats what state troopers do.
Well, that’s what State Troopers do if the standards haven’t been lowered across the board to get them into the Troop. When THAT sort of “Trooper” shows up first at one of these sorts of accidents she calls for help and waits.
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