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State Trooper Rescues Woman Before Car Catches Fire

I-80 Crash

An Illinois State Trooper rescued a woman from a car soon before it burst into flames on I-80 overnight. (Credit: CBS)

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EAST HAZEL CREST, Ill. (CBS) The quick actions of an Illinois state trooper likely saved the life of a woman whose car started smoking after hitting a toll booth on Interstate 80 overnight.

Around 2:25 a.m., the woman was driving on I-80 near the Halsted Street toll plaza in East Hazel Crest, when her car started smoking after striking a toll booth. She was trapped, and lost consciousness.

But the quick actions of a state trooper likely saved the woman.

He checked the car for injured people, and found the woman slumped over in the driver’s seat. He couldn’t open the driver’s side door, so he smashed open the passenger-side window and pulled the woman out.

Soon afterward, the car burst into flames.

“It could have been much more dangerous than what it was. Thanks to the state trooper for pulling her out of the vehicle tonight,” said East Hazel Crest fire Lt. Kevin Vallow. “He saved her life.”

The woman was taken in an unidentified condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, state police said.

The trooper drove himself to St. James Hospital and Health Centers in Olympia Fields, where he was treated for smoke inhalation and minor cuts before being released.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.