Woodstock man, off-duty officer rescue woman from car fire

A good Samaritan and an off-duty police officer rescued a woman from a burning vehicle Wednesday morning in McHenry County.

According to a news release, police responded to a call around 7 a.m. on the 16200 block of Route 14 in unincorporated Hartland Township for a crash involving a school bus.

Deborah Furstenau, 53, was driving a 1997 Plymouth east on Route 14 when she lost control and traveled into the westbound lane. Her car was struck by a Durham School Bus Services bus that was occupied only by the driver. Furstenau's vehicle caught on fire after it came to a rest.

Before police arrived, Woodstock resident Randall Ho and McHenry County Conservation District officer Daniel Hibbeler pulled Furstenau from the burning vehicle.

“Officer Hibbeler and Mr. Ho did an outstanding job. Their heroic actions during the car fire saved Ms. Furstenau from further serious injury or death,” said Undersheriff Andrew Zinke in a statement.

The Woodstock Fire Department put out the fire and took both drivers to Centegra Memorial Hospital in Woodstock. The bus driver was treated and released. Furstenau remained in the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. The crash is still under investigation.

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