Aaron T. McCraw helped to rescue Alfredo M. Tapia from burning, Emeryville, California, May 19, 2002. Tapia, 56, was trapped inside his burning car following an accident on an interstate highway after dark. McCraw, 19, student, who was a passenger of the other vehicle involved in the accident, responded to Tapia’s car, which was filled with smoke and from which flames issued at the rear. Another motorist also responded. Unable to open the car’s damaged doors, the other motorist repeatedly struck its windshield with his elbow as McCraw pounded on it with his fist. The windshield shattered but remained largely in place. The other motorist removed the glass, reached into the car, the interior of which was aflame, and pulled Tapia over the steering wheel and onto the hood. McCraw and the other motorist then lifted Tapia from the hood and carried him to the highway shoulder. The car was engulfed by flames within minutes. Tapia was hospitalized for burns, including to his head and face, and McCraw was treated at the hospital for cuts to his right hand and other ill effects sustained in the accident. All three men recovered.
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