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Florida FWC Officer Pulls Victim From Fiery Crash

July 22, 2008

Officer Bret Gill with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is credited with saving the life of a woman after he risked his own life to enter a vehicle on fire to pull her to safety.

The incident occurred at 1 a.m. on County Road 231 near State Road 100, in Union County.

Gill was off-duty and on his way home when he saw a visibly distressed woman running down the road. She waved him down and told him there was a crash and a car was on fire. He called 9-1-1 and followed the woman to the location where he observed a crowd of people around the vehicle which was nearly fully engulfed in flames.

“She (the passenger) was lying across her seat and her legs and shirt were on fire,” Gill said. “I grabbed her by her arms and pulled her out, and then I rolled her on the ground to put the fire out.”

The vehicle had struck a power pole after witnesses say the driver ran a stop sign and lost control. The driver had perished in the fiery crash before Gill arrived. While the officer and bystanders waited for the ambulance, the vehicle exploded. Gill was unscathed, and there were no other injuries.

The victim, who is 28 years old, was flown to Shands Hospital at the University of Florida, where she is being treated.

Gill’s supervisor, Capt. Roy Brown, praised the officer who has been with the FWC for three and a half years.

“There were people standing around before he got there, but no one did what Bret did,” Brown said. “He’s an outstanding officer. He has a real concern for his community and he’s well-known and well-liked.”


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