Abraham John Hart 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. Hart, 22, college student, was driving on the same highway and came upon the scene just after the crash. He and another man responded to Tapia’s car, which was filled with smoke and from which flames issued at the rear. Unable to open the car’s damaged doors, Hart repeatedly struck its windshield with his elbow as the other man pounded on it with his fist. The windshield shattered but remained largely in place. Hart removed the glass, reached into the car, the interior of which was aflame, and pulled Tapia over the steering wheel and onto the hood. Hart and the other man 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 Hart required hospital treatment for acute abrasions, some deep, to his hands and for swelling to his elbow. They recovered.
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