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Wilton Man Rescued From Fiery Crash Charged With DUI

Hunter Stanfield
Hunter Stanfield Photo Credit: Wilton Police Department
Wilton police respond to the fiery car crash on Nov. 23 on New Canaan Road.
Wilton police respond to the fiery car crash on Nov. 23 on New Canaan Road. Video Credit: Wilton CT Police Fiery Rescue J. Lynch

WILTON, Conn. -- A driver pulled from a burning vehicle by Wilton officers in a dramatic rescue just before flames engulfed the vehicle on Nov. 23 has been charged with drunken driving, police said.

Hunter Stanfield, 26, of 30 Bittersweet Trail, Wilton, was charged with operating under the influence. He turned himself into police Tuesday morning. He posted $5,000 cash bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 13.

Officers climbed into his Range Rover and struggled to free him following the crash on New Canaan Road on Thanksgiving Eve. It took six officers to free Stanfield, whose legs were caught in an area underneath the steering wheel, police said. They were able to get him out just in time, as flames from the engine compartment began to seep into the front passenger area.

"It was quite dramatic," Capt. John Lynch said at the time. "They saved his life."

Six officers, including two sergeants who were during traffic enforcement for Thanksgiving Eve, responded to the scene. They couldn't get the driver's door open, but they were able to get a back door and the back hatch open and crawled inside.

Sgt. David Hartman climbed into the front and worked to free Stanfield's legs as the other officers, all crammed into the vehicle, attempted to pull Stanfield out. At one point, flames from the engine compartment fire began to seep into the front passenger area, and one of the officers used a fire extinguisher in an attempt to beat it back, Lynch said.

“It was spreading fast," he said. "Time is of the essence there."

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