Philly Park Paddock Valet Hailed as Hero

A paddock valet at Philadelphia Park is being hailed as a hero after he helped save the life of a woman whose car crashed and burned in Bensalem, Pa. Wednesday, pulling her to safety as the vehicle filled with smoke.

Roosevelt "Heavy" Robertson, 51, who has been employed at Philadelphia Park since 1974, was traveling along State Road in Bensalem with his brother after leaving the racetrack about 1 p.m.

They came upon the one-car crash and found Mary Flanagan, a 58-year-old Philadelphia resident, unconscious and trapped in the driver's seat. Fire was starting to build in the engine compartment.

While another man had already stopped to try and help Flanagan, it was Robertson, who stands well over 6 feet 4 inches tall, who was able to extricate her from the flaming auto.

"It was really smoky in that car," said Robertson, who said he and his brother stopped "just to see what was going on."

Robertson said Herbert Tufts, 67, was trying to get Flanagan out, but was unsuccessful. Robertson was able to pull her from the car. She was then attended to by the Bensalem Rescue Squad, who took her to a local hospital with burns on her hands.

"When I got her out, I asked, 'Are you okay?' and she started moving," Robertson said.

Robertson is a resident of Palmyra, N. J., while his brother William "Slim" Robertson, also employed by Philadelphia Park, lives in Woodlyn, N. J.