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Student honored for turn as Good Samaritan

September 2, 2010

NIU student Holly Swaim is making headlines today for her role as a Good Samaritan.

According to news reports, Swaim was driving westbound on I-88 near DeKalb a week ago today — Thursday, Aug. 26 — when she noticed a Honda CRV in a ditch between Elburn and Sugar Grove.

No rescue crews were on the scene, so the senior psychology major pulled over and flew into action.

Swaim obtained a pocket knife from another driver who had stopped, slicing the seatbelt that was restraining and choking Beth Wallace. Wallace, a Loyola University student, had been the passenger in the Honda; her friend, who was driving, had blacked out behind the wheel. They lost control of the vehicle, crossed into westbound traffic and crashed into an semitrailer.

With the seatbelt cut, Swaim took Wallace’s head into her hands, holding it and speaking to her until paramedics arrived. Wallace then was flown to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

The pair were reunited Wednesday during a press conference at the hospital, which released Wallace to a rehabilitation center. She suffered a broken leg during the crash.

Media coverage included the Daily Herald, the Aurora Beacon-News, the Hillside Suburban Life, the Southtown Star, CBS-Channel 2 and NBC-Channel 5.

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