National Guardsman, 6 civilians being honored for heroics during rescue after Thruway crash

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SYRACUSE, New York — A New York Army National Guard soldier and six civilians are being honored for rescuing a National Guard officer from a fiery vehicle crash on the Thruway last year.

Sgt. John Tirinato of Castleton will receive the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal during a ceremony being held Saturday afternoon at the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team headquarters in Syracuse.

Six civilians — four from the Syracuse area, one from Connecticut and one from Toronto — will also receive the medal.

They're being recognized for their heroism after Capt. Timothy Neild of Wynantskill crashed his pickup truck into a Thruway overpass in DeWitt. The seven helped pull the Afghanistan war veteran from the burning wreck.

An eighth rescuer — Sgt. 1st Class Ray Presley of the National Guard — was awarded a medal last spring.

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