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Fire Chief Saves Woman in Poteau Head-On Collision

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A Heavener woman was flown to a Tulsa hospital after a head-on collision Monday evening (Sept. 30) in LeFlore County.

The accident happened on Highway 59 South between Poteau and Howe, according to Sheriff Rob Seale. An accident report from Oklahoma Highway Patrol states Hannah Wagner, 18, of Heavener crossed the center line, hitting a Dodge pickup driven by Robert Hunt, 23, of Waldron. The truck caught fire.

Seale said the Poteau fire chief was nearby when the accident happened. He was able to use some of his gear to protect the victim who was near the flames.

"It was probably in between 700 and 900 degrees where she was," said Poteau Fire Chief  Jon Pickel. "Your ear will melt off the side of your face at 300 degrees."

The Jaws of Life was used to pull Wagner out of the car, where she was trapped for about 35 minutes. She was taken by medical helicopter to a St. John’s hospital in Tulsa in stable condition, according to the report.

Pickel said he does not consider himself a hero.

"No, it's what we signed up to do because we love to do it," said Pickel. "It's just team effort."

Hunt was shaken up but will be okay, according to Seale.

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