New Canaan crash survivor thanks man who pulled him to safety

Posted: Updated:
A New Canaan man who survived a fiery car crash last month remembers swerving to avoid a deer on North Wilton Road. A New Canaan man who survived a fiery car crash last month remembers swerving to avoid a deer on North Wilton Road.
NEW CANAAN -

Russ Kohl, of New Canaan, woke up in a hospital bed last month after swerving to avoid a deer on North Wilton Road and barely surviving the fiery car crash that followed.

Kohl, 61, says he slammed into a tree and doesn't remember much else about the accident.

Kohl, who broke multiple bones and dislocated his hip in the crash, learned a day later in his hospital bed that Thomas Dubin, a 55-year-old Wilton man, pulled him from the flaming wreck. 

Dubin happened to be driving by when he saw the burning vehicle and pulled Kohl to safety.

"It took me the better part of 55 years to do one thing remotely heroic," Dubin said later, adding that he felt honored when emergency responders who save lives every day paid him recognition.

New Canaan police honored Dubin for his actions this week, and he also received a personal thank you from the man he saved.

"I can't thank Tom enough," Kohl said. "He saved my life, and not everyone in their life has a chance to say that."

Doctors say Kohl is making good progress and could return to one of his favorite sports -- golf -- by the middle of next month.

"There should be more people like Tom Dubin in this world," he said.

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