Three men from Niles High wrestling team rescue man from burning car


Three men from the Niles High School Wrestling Team are being recognized for quick action and courage after saving a man from a burning car.

Recently a Niles High School wrestler and two assistant coaches were coming home from a state wrestling tournament. The three took an alternate route along the U.S. 31 Bypass. They noticed a car was on fire and immediately stopped to help.

Police say a couple from Galien crashed just under the overpass at the Niles Buchanan Road exit. A male passenger was trapped underneath the dashboard.

Wrestler Ryan Casey and assistant coach Tom Desenberg got him out just in time before the car exploded.

Meanwhile assistant coach Jake Gluekert called 911.

“At the time all you're thinking is do we have everyone out of there,” says Gluekert. “Are we safe” Is anything else going to happen? It hit me a day later about what actually happened.”

Desenberg says, “I don't think any of us thought about the danger. We just kind of reacted. It was more of a reaction, than any kind of a thought process.”

The Berrien County Sheriff's Department says Jennifer Scot was driving.

The passenger Maxwel Robinson was taken to Memorial Hospital for a foot injury and other internal injuries.

The accident is still under investigation but alcohol appears to be a contributing factor.


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