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Soldiers who helped injured driver, child in Manchester highway crash say they learned valuable lessons
Spc. Lee Kershaw of Hillsborough, is a U.S. Army Reservist assigned to the 4220th U.S. Army in Shoreham, N.Y., currently on temporary assignment at the Manchester U.S. Army Recruiting Office where her husband SSgt. Christopher Kershaw is station commander.
She, along with Burnham and the other motorists, tried to get the car doors open to reach Maslanka, whose only concern was for her daughter.
She went to find the little girl, who was being tended to by a nurse who had a First Aid kit in her car.
Kershaw tried to distract the child with talk about school and swimming.
"If that car had engulfed in flames and we couldn't get her out, that woud have been horrible," Kershaw said.
He said he is thankful for all of the motorists' help. He said his mother will be flying in to help out while his wife recuperates.
"He was awesome!" Burnham said.
Burnham said the scene was chaotic when he came across it, having turned onto I-93 North from Route 101 West.
While motorists tried to get into the car to reach Maslanka, they didn't know how to do it because the doors were locked and sealed shut because of the crash.
Infante, he said, broke the front window to gain access and then Burnham broke the window on the rear passenger door with a baton, crawled inside and unlocked the front passenger door.
Burnham said he and others on the scene were concerned for Maslanka because the car was upside down, her neck was contorted and at first she was unresponsive. When they reached her, the first thing Maslanka was concerned about was her daughter.
Kershaw and Burnham played down their part that afternoon.
"Stop and help," Burnham said.
Kershaw said she hoped what she and the others did is not unusual.
"There were a lot of people who sprang into action," she said. "There were a lot of people who tried to help, not just us."
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