A story of bravery: Howard County officer pulls teen from burning car

Jamie Forzato, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – At around 3 a.m. on Friday, Cpl. Craig Ream with the Howard County Police Department was driving to work when he spotted something.

A car was on fire on Route 97 in Carroll County.

Police say Casey Mario Bellofatto, 18, was driving a 2010 Toyota Corolla southbound when she crossed into the northbound lane, hitting a 2000 Honda Accord head-on. The Corolla rolled down an embankment several times before catching on fire with the teenager trapped inside.

Ream, an 11-year veteran with the department, jumped into action. He pulled over, crawled inside the car, grabbed the woman and dragged her to safety. The teenager was then taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. She is in critical condition.

The driver of the Accord is Christine Elizabeth Stamm, 63, of Westminster. She was also taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center and is in serious condition. The police officer was taken to the Howard County Hospital, treated for burns, cuts and scrapes and was released.

Maryland State Police say it is unclear whether alcohol or speed were factors in the accident.

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