Anthony J. Priami helped to save Mark T. Yates from burning, Indianapolis, Indiana, January 4, 2005. Unconscious, Yates, 41, remained in the driver’s seat of his automobile after an accident in which the car struck a concrete abutment of an overpass. Fire broke out in the vehicle’s engine compartment. Priami, 36, off-duty police officer, was driving in a funeral procession that came upon the scene. He stopped and with other men from the procession approached the burning car. They tried without success to open the driver’s door then responded to the passenger side of the vehicle. Priami opened the front door, then, despite flames nearby in the engine compartment and beginning to enter the interior through the dashboard, entered the car for Yates. He and a man who joined him tried to move Yates, but Yates was trapped in the wreckage. Another man then opened the car’s rear passenger-side door, entered, and moved toward the driver’s side. He reached over the front seat and manipulated both the steering wheel and Yates’s legs to free him. Priami and the other man in the front-seat area pulled Yates across the seat and out of the vehicle, but while they did so, the rear door was closed, leaving the third rescuer inside the smoke-filled car. He exited the vehicle safely then helped Priami and the other men drag Yates to safety. Within a minute, flames engulfed the car. Yates required lengthy hospitalization for treatment of his injuries, but he was not burned. Priami singed his hair and suffered smoke inhalation, from which he recovered.
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