Utica honors four heroes who saved motorist and passenger

Quartet rendered aid during April 10 rollover accident on Dee Bennett Road

Four people were honored Thursday for helping first-responders in Utica save the life of a motorist and her passenger after their vehicle overturned last month on Dee Bennett Road.

Lisa Piecha and Victoria Cantrell, both of Streator, and Austin Craig and Damien Kwit, both of Ottawa, were commended at the meeting of the Utica Village Board for the critical aid they rendered during an April 10 rollover accident on Dee Bennett Road, a half mile east of Route 178.

“Between the four of them, their heroic acts saved these people,” said Utica Police Chief Rod Damron. “I really appreciate what they did. They stopped, did the right thing and went above and beyond.”

The driver, 45-year-old Samantha M. Wrobel of LaGrange Park, escaped from the partially-submerged vehicle while her passenger, 53-year-old Julian Ramos of Utica, was about to drown. Wrobel was charged with DUI.