Anthony S. LaRock saved Kelly P. Chellino and rescued Mary L. Sears from burning, Lewiston, New York, April 14, 2004. Chellino, 35, was the driver, and Sears, 21, a passenger, of a sport utility vehicle that, in a nighttime highway accident, overturned onto its passenger side and lay partially in a ditch along the road shoulder. Fire erupted on the vehicle. Dispatched to the scene, LaRock, 34, state trooper, arrived to find the vehicle’s exposed undercarriage covered by flame. He approached the windshield and saw Chellino, his safety belt still attached, in the driver’s seat and flames at the firewall. Reaching through the window of the driver’s door, LaRock cut Chellino’s safety belt, then, with some difficulty, pulled him through the window and to the ground. After dragging Chellino away, he returned to the vehicle for Sears, who lay on the ground at its rear, her legs still inside the wreckage. To avoid the flames, which had spread inside the vehicle and were blowing across its top, LaRock stood in the ditch, crouching. He reached inside the wreckage and pulled Sears out, then dragged her away. As a third person remained inside the vehicle, LaRock attempted to fight the fire with portable extinguishers but with little result. Chellino and Sears were taken to the hospital, where Sears was detained for treatment of serious injuries. The third victim died at the scene. LaRock was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation, from which he recovered, but he incurred also an injury to his wrist, which required surgery. He was disabled for 10 months.
78544 – 899178544-8991