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Good Samaritan, conservation officer rescue woman from burning car


Updated: April 10, 2013 1:14PM

WOODSTOCK — A good Samaritan and an off-duty conservation officer are being credited with saving a motorist from serious injury by pulling her from a burning car after it collided with a school bus Wednesday in McHenry County.

McHenry County sheriff’s deputies responded about 7 a.m. to the 16200 block of U.S. 14 in Hartland Township, just northwest of Woodstock, for a traffic crash involving a school bus.

En route, deputies learned one of the vehicles had caught fire and the driver had been rescued by a citizen and an off-duty McHenry County Conservation District officer.

The sheriff’s police said Deborah Furstenau, 53, of Harvard, was driving a 1997 Plymouth eastbound on U.S. 14 when she lost control and traveled into the westbound lane. Her vehicle was then struck by a westbound Durham School Bus Services bus, driven by 36-year-old Christina Brigg of Capon.

There were no children on the bus, police said, but Furstenau’s car caught fire. Randall Ho of Woodstock and County District Officer Daniel Hibbeler came upon the scene and pulled Furstenau from the burning vehicle.

“Officer Hibbeler and Mr. Ho did an outstanding job.” Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said in a statement. “Their heroic actions during the car fire saved Ms. Furstenau from further serious injury or death.”

Woodstock Fire Department personnel put out the fire and took both drivers to Centegra Memorial Hospital in Woodstock, the statement said. Brigg was treated and released, while Furstenau was being treated for non life-threatening injuries late Wednesday morning.

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