The light that Raleigh Police Sgt. Brian Allen saw underneath the overturned car Aug. 2 in the woods along Smithfield Road in Clayton was fire.
Although Allen was off duty, his emergency responder instincts kicked in. He ran to the mangled wreckage and found an unconscious driver trapped inside. He cut the seat belt off the driver and pulled him from the car to safety only minutes before the vehicle burst into flames, said Laura Hourigan, a Raleigh police spokeswoman.
That act of heroism, along with his dogged pursuit of bank robbery suspects who were firing at his patrol car this summer, led to his selection Monday as the First Responder of the Year by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.
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