Herkimer man honored for saving crash victim

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A Herkimer County man was recently honored for putting his life on the line to save a Yorkville woman from being trapped after her vehicle drove off Route 5S, striking a mailbox, and overturning several times. 

The operator of the vehicle, Melissa M. Knudsen, 40, became trapped inside, State Police at Herkimer said.  A nearby neighbor, Jason Ploss, of the Town of Danube, heard the crash and ran over to the scene.

Ploss said he a woman inside, but the doors were pinned-shut due to the damage caused by the rollover.

Troopers said the good samaritan had to physically force the driver’s side door open and pull Knudsen to safety, moments before the vehicle became fully engulfed in flames.

If not for Ploss’ actions the driver would have likely been killed in the fire, troopers said.

Major Philip T. Rougeux, Troop D commander, presented Ploss with a New York State Police Certificate of Recognition for his lifesaving efforts at a scene of the Sept. 9 crash. 

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