Anthony Gouverneur rescued Karin L. Johnson from burning, Vital Junction, California, March 28, 2002. Ms. Johnson, 34, was the front-seat passenger of an automobile that was struck head on by another automobile on a remote stretch of highway in early evening. Fire erupted on both cars. Gouverneur, 27, truck driver, stopped at the scene, as did other motorists. Seeing Ms. Johnson moving inside her car, Gouverneur attempted without success to open the front passenger door, then he used a fire extinguisher to break its window. He unlocked the door and pulled it open. Despite flames issuing from the car’s engine area and dashboard, Gouverneur leaned inside, grasped Ms. Johnson, and pulled her out. He dragged her to safety, then returned to the car for the driver, but flames repulsed him. The drivers of both cars died in the accident. Ms. Johnson was hospitalized for treatment of injuries received during the collision and for burns. Gouverneur was treated at the scene for a burn to one arm, and he recovered.
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