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Colorado deputy injured trying to save a driver from a burning car

Deputy Alton "AJ" McGuffin began showing signs of respiratory distress when there was an explosion in the vehicle.

CROOK, Colorado — A Logan County Sheriff's Office deputy who was injured Monday during unsuccessful attempts to rescue a driver from a burning vehicle has been released from the hospital.

Around 3:45 p.m. Monday, numerous agencies responded to a crash on Interstate 76 at milepost 141 near Crook with initial reports indicating that a vehicle was on fire and the driver was trapped, the Sheriff's Office said.

Deputy Alton "AJ" McGuffin, 44, arrived at the scene first and began working with bystanders to put out the fire with fire extinguishers. McGuffin became overcome by the smoke but continued with efforts to save the driver, the Sheriff's Office said.

During that time, there was an explosion in the vehicle, and McGuffin began exhibiting signs of respiratory distress. He was taken from the scene by ambulance and then flown to Swedish Medical Center and admitted into their burn unit.

At one point, he was sedated and had a breathing tube. A Sheriff's Office spokesman said on Wednesday that McGuffin made "great progress" over the past two days and was released from the hospital around noon.

McGuffin's stepson also works for the sheriff's office, according to the agency.

Unfortunately, the driver of the vehicle that was involved in the crash did not survive her injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash is being investigated by the Colorado State Patrol.

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