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Two Men Honored for Saving Woman’s Life

DUNMORE — Bill Lather and Gordie Potratz, both of Hawley, were honored at the state police barracks in Dunmore for their quick thinking and actions that saved a woman’s life.

“It hits the heart a little when you make a big deal of it like this,” said Bill Lather of Hawley.

“I’m very appreciative to be here with other people who have served the community,” said Gordie Potratz of Hawley.

The two were honored because Potratz and Lather, pulled a woman from a car right before the whole thing went up in flames back in August.

Police said Sarah Vandergriff, 20, of New Foundland, fell asleep at the wheel and went off Route 191 just south of Honesdale that evening.

Lather and Potratz were driving by, and stopped to help.

When Vandergriff’s seat belt got stuck, Potratz handed Lather a knife to help cut the woman out.

As soon as Lather lifted her out, the car turned into an inferno.

Now, almost two months later, state police said they are credited with saving the young woman’s life.

State police gave both Lather and Potratz an award and even called them heroes, but both men said they were just doing the right thing.

“I’m very appreciative, I think we got way too much media coverage for something anybody should do,” said Potratz.

“These are heroes, what you saw today here are heroes, military are heroes, firemen are heroes, I’m not, I helped somebody out, that’s it,” said Lather.

The woman who was saved, Sarah Vandergriff, suffered a broken arm and some bumps and bruises, but she did recover, and is doing well.

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