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CPD detective pulls woman from wreck

Posted: January 30, 2014 4:39 p.m.
Updated: January 31, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Quick action by a Camden Police Department (CPD) detective helped extract an Elgin woman from an overturned vehicle Tuesday night. Paige Gibson told The Chronicle-Independent she was on her way to work in her Jeep Cherokee around 10:25 p.m. when she came upon the scene of a previous accident on U.S. 1 at Rabon Circle. CPD Det. Damien Burris was there.

"I was on my way to work. He was already at the scene of another accident. I went around him and the car started gliding to the left and spinning to the right," Gibson said. "I hit the brakes and was headed toward the ditch. My car overturned and I was hanging upside down by the seatbelt."

Gibson said she was surprised Burris came to her rescue so quickly.

"In seconds he was there and said it was going to be OK. He opened the back door and tried to undo the seatbelt, but it was jammed. A firefighter came along and had a knife and he (Burris) cut the seatbelt and got me out," she said.

Burris said he was glad Gibson got out of the vehicle with minor injuries.

"We were out checking the roads. In the south we don’t drive too well in this precipitation. Another gentleman had his Mustang in the ditch and a Jeep Cherokee came along and she lost control and hit the brakes. The Jeep flipped two times and landed on its top. I went to the passenger side door and it wouldn’t open, so I went to the rear door on the driver’s side" Burris said. "I was able to cut her out of the seatbelt. I told her to brace herself, that she was going to fall. She crawled out and the ambulance came and the highway patrol was there. It happened so fast, I know it scared her. She was afraid the Jeep was going to catch fire. It was just another aspect of protecting and serving."

Gibson said she is thankful Burris was there and sprang into action.

"I’m just so grateful that he was there. I wasn’t hurt too bad. I have a strained shoulder and I have back pain, but it wasn’t anything major, thank God," she said. "When I left in the ambulance I hated it that I didn’t get his name, so I went to the police station later."

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