FEBRUARY 25 2012 18:09h

State trooper pulls woman from burning car

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CHICAGO, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Illinois State Trooper Zach Peters rescued a woman from a burning car wreck Saturday morning, the second time he's saved a life in three years, police said.

While on patrol in Chicago around 2:15 a.m., Peters noticed a silver Nissan smashed into the median near a toll plaza with smoke seeping out from under the hood. After notifying dispatchers, he looked into the car to find an unconscious woman pinned under the seat. Acting quickly, he broke the passenger window and pulled her out.

The car's battery had exploded. Had Peters waited any longer, the car would have burst into flames.

"It was kind of hard to see once you got inside the car, and because of how much I was having to pull [to get her out], I was breathing kind of heavier," Peters told the Chicago Tribune.

In 2009, Peters was awarded a life-saving medal after arriving to the scene of a hit and run and applying a tourniquet to the victim's leg before paramedics arrived, effectively stopping him from bleeding to death.