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State Trooper Saves Woman From Smoldering Car Before Vehicle Caught Fire

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File photo: Smoke billows from a car as firemen react during a demonstration of the local Congolese community in the Matonge district in Brussels, on December 17, 2011.
File photo: Smoke billows from a car as firemen react during a demonstration of the local Congolese community in the Matonge district in Brussels, on December 17, 2011.

An Illinois State Police trooper who found a woman unresponsive in a smoking car pulled her to safety shortly before the vehicle burst into flames.

The trooper, whose name has not yet been released, was traveling northbound on the Tri-State Tollway just after 2 a.m. when he saw a mangled vehicle that had apparently crashed into a tollbooth, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

When he approached the car, he found a 24-year-old Harvey, Ill. woman unresponsive in the drivers seat, and, observing that the car was smoking, smashed the passenger-side window and pulled her to safety, Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Joseph Stangl told the newspaper.

East Hazel Crest Fire Capt. Kevin Vallow praised the trooper's quick response to CBS Chicago.

"It could have been much more dangerous than what it was," Vallow told CBS. "Thanks to the state trooper for pulling her out of the vehicle tonight...He saved her life.”

State police responding to the scene found the woman safely out of the car, and intercepted the smoking vehicle in time to prevent flames or explosion, the Chicago Tribune reports. The woman is being treated at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, but her condition has not been released.

The trooper was treated for smoke inhalation and released.

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