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Deputy, two citizens awarded for saving man from burning car

Deputy, two citizens awarded for saving man from burning car

CHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- A Cheboygan County sheriff's deputy and two civilians were given lifesaving awards on Tuesday after rescuing a man from a flaming car in December.

John Stenback was driving in blizzard conditions on I-75 when he lost control and went off the road.

On Tuesday, months after the crash, Stenback watched the men who saved him get some recognition.

“Within seconds of them pulling Mr. Stenback out of the vehicle, the vehicle was fully engulfed in fire," said Sheriff Dale Clarmont. "After reviewing this case, there was no doubt in my mind that we needed to recognize Deputy Runstrom and our two civilians with the Cheboygan County lifesaving award.”

“You never expect to find yourself in that position, and these guys were there to help me out," Stenback said. "It was amazing.”

Charles Woolard and Scott Doherty were also close behind Stenback when he crashed and ran towards the flaming vehicle.

"I saw the fire right off the bat," Woolard said. "In my head, I couldn't see somebody burn up. I just couldn’t, it’s not me.”

“I saw the car on fire and as I was coming to a stop," Doherty said. "I saw his hand come out of the back window and the sheriff was running up and asked if there was anyone inside the vehicle and I yelled out I saw a hand and I ran to the car as fast as I could.”

It happened during a bad blizzard when Deputy Jeremy Runstrom had a number of crashes to respond to.

Luckily he was close by.

“I used a window punch to punch and break the moon roof out, and then myself and Charles grabbed a hold of his arms and pulled him away from the vehicle before it caught, before it engulfed in flames more," Runstrom said.

"You get very aware of the situation and how close you come to the end," Stenback said.

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