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Men hailed as heroes in Milford after pulling driver from burning car

MILFORD -- Tragedy was averted Sunday night when a Milford man said human instinct simply kicked in as he and another man pulled the driver of a burning car to safety after it had crashed into a tree

The charred bark of a tree that was slammed into Sunday night, around 8:30, along Milford’s West River Street. Will Long serve as a reminder of what could have happened.

“I didn’t know if there was someone in there,” said Mark Bernier, of Milford. “But, as we looked closer, there was.”

Bernier was driving by the accident scene with his wife. When he noticed smoke coming from the car, he approach the vehicle and said he could tell the 28-year-old male driver of the crashed car was injured.

“It was hard for him to get out of the car,” Bernier said. “It turned out he had some serious injuries to his pelvis area and lower legs.”

The occupant was lying face down, across the front seat of his Subaru. Bernier said he then noticed a fire starting under the hood.

“We said to him ‘you’ve got to get out of here,’” Bernier said.

The driver was able to slide himself out just enough.

“Once he got on the road, we were able to drag him over to the lawn over here,” said Bernier.

Jake Tymon, from Fairfield, who had been visiting a friend near the accident scene, also helped drag the victim to safety.

One Milford police body camera footage, shared with FOX61, an officer can be heard addressing Bernier and Tymon by saying, “Thank you. Good job. That was awesome what you guys did.”

“You know, five minutes later, if nobody had driven by, I don’t see how he could’ve gotten out himself,” said Bernier. “He just couldn’t do it. And it would’ve been a different story today.”

Police are investigating what caused the accident. A resident of the neighborhood says it’s the second time in a month that same tree has been struck by a car.

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