On November 4 of last year, a car lost control on the northbound lanes of I-676, struck a light pole and burst into flames.
Two people managed to escape the burning vehicle, but a girl still remained in the back seat of the car, unable to get out.
It was that night that Delaware River Port Authority Officer Larry Goodwin radioed for back up, then ran to the car with three other officers, battling the flames to reach the victim. As the flames grew in size, the DRPA officers managed to pull the girl from the car.
Sergeant Christopher Bell, who arrived on scene minutes after the crash, managed to keep the girl’s airway open while giving her oxygen until paramedics arrived.
On Friday, Sergeant Bell will be among eight others who will be honored for their acts of heroism for two separate incidents last year by the Camden County Hero Scholarship Fund.
The DRPA says the officers will accept their awards during the 46th Annual Hero Scholarship Fund Dinner at Lucien’s Manor in Berlin.
“They put a commitment to public safety before a regard for their own safety. Their actions demonstrate a collective commitment to protecting and serving the people who cross our bridges and ride our trains, and I’m proud of them,” DRPA Police Chief David McClintock said.
The officers will also be honored for an April 2011 incident, where a PATCO car filled with smoke after a small explosion as it arrived at City Hall Station in Camden. During that incident, officers managed to quickly evacuate passengers.