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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Engineering Student Rescuers Pull Mother, Child from Burning Car

Several people got out of their vehicles one Wednesday evening when they saw a car on fire on Interstate 264.

Among them were Midshipman Jason Benning, 22, and Officer Candidate Joshua Moore, 26, of Hampton Roads Naval ROTC. The mechanical engineering technology students both live in Virginia Beach and were following each other after class when they saw the Ford Focus in the right eastbound lane. It was facing west and appeared to be on fire.

They pulled over. Others joined them.

The car was full of smoke. They knocked on the windows as the flames got brighter, but got no response.

One man got a hammer out of his car. A highway safety officer, M.V. Spiegel, began spraying the flames with a fire extinguisher. Moore grabbed the hammer and smashed the passenger side window and opened the door.

They pulled a dazed Rebecca Nicole Small, 26, from the car. "She had no idea what was happening," Moore said.

Then they heard a child's cry.

One man got in the car but could not unlatch the child seat. Benning went in the car and pulled the child out.

In less than a minute the car filled with flames.

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