Picture driving home from work and noticing a car that seems to have swerved off the road. As you drive closer,, flames begin to grow noticeable. A woman’s faint cry turns into piercing screams. She is trapped in her burning car, and can’t get out. You feel isolated and confused as to what to do next, but an urge to help arises from natural instinct and you pull the woman from the burning vehicle. This was Stephen Haselhorst’s reality.
In the middle of the night on August 10th, nineteen year old Stephen Haselhorst was driving home from work, and witnessed something the eyes can not unsee. A woman’s screams of pain and terror from her burning car on Chancellor Road in Fredericksburg. He immediately took action and successfully rescued her from the car. “I just saw someone who needed help and knew I was the only one there. I had to help her,” Stephen said. The woman was trapped in her burning SUV after hitting a tree. An intense and fiery escape for her as Stephen physically grabbed her out of the car. Stephen and a friend of his happened to be the only ones around to witness the incident. “We were initially worried that he had put himself in danger, but quickly felt a huge sense of pride for his Stephen’s actions,”stated Stephen’s father, Steve Haselhorst. He was proud of himself once he comprehended he saved a woman’s life. As of the moment, Stephen emphasizes that he has not had any contact with the woman, but is open for a conversation when she is ready.
Stephen is a former student at Riverbend and graduated with the class of 2018. He took a series of rigorous and challenging classes at RHS and participated in Latin club. “My favorite teachers had to be Mr. Letellier, Mr. Young, and Mr. Keith.” He explained that, “Mr. Young’s DE English class taught me how to appreciate literature even more and I learned a lot about life in general from him. Mr. Keith provided a great community through Latin club that I loved.” His former Latin teacher, Mr. Keith, added, “He was active in club and was studious. I thought him saving the woman was impressive.”
Stephen’s plans for the future involve studying for cyber security and a variety of other subjects, like Asian civilization and linguistics at Mary Washington University. Stephen’s family has a true sense of pride in this young man and his father discusses how, “Not many of us will ever have the opportunity to save a person’s life, and that is something he should feel really proud of.”