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Fidelity Employee Pulls Woman From Burning Car

SULLIVAN, MISSOURI, February 19, 2013—Quick thinking by a Fidelity employee may have saved the life of a Union woman early Sunday morning after her car crashed and caught fire on Highway BB north of Judith Springs Road.

Darren Schatz of Sullivan pulled the crash victim, Susan Griffin, 55, from her burning car about 6:20 a.m. after happening upon the crash site on his way to a volleyball tournament in St. Peters.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Griffin was southbound on Highway BB in a 1999 Toyota Camry when she fell asleep, ran off the left side of the road and struck a utility pole. The car then caught fire.

Schatz, 43, who works at Fidelity's Sullivan warehouse, was northbound with his wife, daughter and three of her friends enroute to St. Peters when he saw a fire in the ditch. As he got closer, he saw a car crashed into a pole with the back end on fire.

"I ran to the driver's side door and yelled into the car," Schatz said. "The woman inside said, ‘Help me please. I can't get out.' It was so full of smoke you couldn't see anything."

He pulled a metal fence post out of the ground and smashed both front windows before locating the victim on the passenger side. He was able to open the door by reaching through the broken passenger window and pulled Griffin to safety.

"I had just got her off to the side and asked if anyone else was in the car when the highway patrol and then the sheriff pulled up," Schatz said. Griffin appeared to be in shock, he said. A neighbor used a fire extinguisher to get the fire under control.

After speaking with authorities briefly, Schatz was allowed to continue on his way. "The adrenalin was going," Schatz said. "When we stopped in Washington, I got out and walked around a little bit to shake it off."

Griffin, who was wearing a seat belt, was taken by Union Ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Washington and treated for minor injuries.

Contact: Craig Montgomery
Fidelity Communications Co.
Tel: 573-468-1294
Fax: 573-468-7986

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