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North Carolina Marine rescues three people from burning car in Wilmington

A Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, rescued three people trapped inside a burning car in Wilmington, North Carolina, in the early morning hours of Jan. 11.

Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, originally from Manassas, Virginia, was driving with some friends in Wilmington, North Carolina, when he saw the car in front of him crash into a tree, the Marine Corps confirmed in a Thursday email.

McDonell quickly sprung into action, first pulling the driver from the burning car then going back to remove the two passengers, Marine Corps spokesman 1st Lt. Dan Linfante told Marine Corps Times.

After pulling the three victims out of the car, McDonell, along with his friends and other members of the community, provided first aid to the three victims until emergency medical services arrived on the scene.

The Marine ended up accompanying the victims to the hospital, where he stayed until roughly 8 a.m. providing whatever help or comfort he could to the victims and their families, Linfante said.

“Cpl. Scott McDonell displayed extreme courageousness and selflessness in responding to the car accident of January 11th," Lt. Col. Gabriel Diana, the commanding officer for 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, said in an email. “His actions, which are not at all surprising given a Marine with his training and instinct that allowed him to take immediate action to save three people from a burning car."

McDonell’s unit currently is in the process of writing him up for an award, but Linfante said it was too early in the process to say exactly which award that would be.

"I know I speak for the collective when I say that 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment could not be more proud of Cpl. McDonell’s actions or more thankful for the lives his actions likely saved,” Diana said.

Bryant Reed with WECT News 6, in Wilmington, North Carolina, first reported the Marine rescuing three people from the burning car.

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