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Deputy, VDOT workers, citizens work together to rescue woman from fiery crash

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Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 3:32 PM EDT
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ORANGE Co., Va. (WWBT) - A woman is recovering now after a group of people came together to help rescue her from a fiery crash.

On June 15, Orange County Deputy Bryan McFarlane was en route to a call when he came upon a two-car crash on Gold Dale Road.

Virginia State Police said a 2013 Honda Civic was heading east when it crossed a double solid yellow center line at a high rate of speed while trying to pass a 2014 Mercedes C300.

“The Honda ran off the left side of the roadway, overcorrected, and collided with the Mercedes,” VSP said.

The impact caused the Mercedes to collide head-on with a tree and the Honda ran off the road and overturned in a field.

McFarlane first stopped at the overturned Honda in the field and helped the woman get out of the car.

While helping the driver of the Honda, bystanders yelled to get his attention to the Mercedes that was down the road, which caught on fire with a woman still trapped inside.

McFarlane then went to the burning car and emptied his fire extinguisher before running back to his vehicle, where he grabbed a gallon of water and poured it on the fire.

Several VDOT workers and citizens also emptied more extinguishers on the blaze but were unable to get the fire out.

“With the fire starting to intensify, Deputy McFarlane was running out of resources to fight the blaze. Deputy McFarlane went back to his truck, hooked a tow strap to his vehicle and to the door of the crashed vehicle, then attempted to pull the door open,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.

The first attempt did not work, so McFarlane cut the strap and repositioned it. He then backed his vehicle up and was able to get the door open long enough for the group to pull the woman out.

VSP said the driver of the Honda, Sky L. Travers, 21, of Locust Grove, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Police said she was not wearing a seatbelt.

The driver of the 21-year-old driver of the Mercedes was flown to VCU Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. VSP said she was wearing a seatbelt.

“If it were not for the quick thinking of Deputy McFarlane and the help of the VDOT employees and citizens, this could have had a very tragic outcome,” the sheriff’s office said.

Police charged Travers with driving under the influence; maiming, failure to drive the right side of the roadway and failure to wear a seatbelt. She was taken to jail and held without bond.

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