Daniel L. Weiss

A 29-year-old woman was unconscious in the driver’s seat of her two-door coupe after a May 17, 2022, accident in which the car left a Greensboro, North Carolina, rural road and continued down an embankment for about 25 feet, where it struck two trees and caught fire. Facility technician Daniel L. Weiss, 59, from Stokesdale, North Carolina, was working on a utility pole nearby when he heard the roaring motor of a vehicle and saw car parts flying through the air. Weiss responded, ran down the embankment, and approached the driver’s door. He saw the woman in the driver’s seat unconscious and slumped over the steering wheel. He reached through the window opening and shook her in an attempt to wake her, but she did not respond. Weiss felt for a pulse when he noticed flames burning at the hood of the car that spread inside through the dashboard and air vents. He called to his co-worker for a fire extinguisher, and once it was retrieved, Weiss emptied the extinguisher. Despite the effort, the flames continued to burn at the hood. Weiss pulled on the handle of the driver’s door, but it would not open. He ran to the passenger side door and fully entered the vehicle by kneeling on the seat, where he then turned the woman, so she faced away from him. Weiss reached his arms around her from behind and clasped his hands together. He lifted her over the center console onto the passenger seat as the flames grew and spread to within a foot of them. Weiss backed through the passenger door opening and fell with the woman to the ground. Two men responded to the scene and helped Weiss carry the woman 20 feet away after seeing fire envelop the front seats. The flames continued to grow and engulf the vehicle’s entire cab. The woman was not burned but was taken to the hospital for injuries sustained in the accident. Weiss suffered minor smoke inhalation and recovered.

Burning wreckage soon after rescue