Wednesday, April 28, 1999

Officer pulls woman from fiery wreck

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A police officer's quick thinking may have saved the life of a Hamilton woman involved in an early Tuesday morning crash in Butler County.

        Jacqueline R. Osborn had crashed her car into a concrete abutment on Hamilton-Mason Road just after 4 a.m., Union Township police said. When Officer Tom Spahn arrived, the vehicle was in flames. The 40-year-old Ms. Osborn, of the 6000 block of Huckleberry Lane, was trapped inside.

        “Any time you have a vehicle fire, you not only have flames to worry about, but there is heavy smoke and poisonous gases from the burning plastics,” said Mike Mays, Union Township's assistant fire chief of administration.

        Officer Spahn tried to extin guish the blaze, but couldn't, so he broke a window and, with the help of a passerby, pulled Ms. Osborn to safety through a rear door, police said.

        “I don't know if I saved her life, but I saved her from some serious burn injuries,” Officer Spahn said Tuesday night. “We got her out and within a minute or a minute and a half the flames were in the passenger compartment.”

        “Considering he didn't have the protective fire gear, he definitely put himself at risk,” Assistant Chief Mays said of Officer Spahn. The officer's actions minimized Ms. Osborn's injuries and may have saved her life, the assistant fire chief added. She had no burns.

        Ms. Osborn was flown by helicopter to University Hospital in Cincinnati for injuries from the accident. She was in fair condition Tuesday night.

        Police are still investigating the accident. Preliminary indications are that Ms. Osborn was eastbound on Hamilton-Mason Road approaching Quail Run in Butler County when she apparently lost control. Her car went off the right side of the roadway and struck the abutment.


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