Carl M. Harrison, Jr., saved Lillian Audi from burning, Ashley, Pennsylvania, October 24, 2001. Ms. Audi, 89, was a passenger in a minivan that, in an interstate highway accident involving a tractor-trailer, came to rest partially atop a concrete barrier and caught fire, at its front end. Other motorists, including Harrison, 44, state police officer, stopped at the scene and attempted to open the vehicle’s doors, which were locked and damaged from the accident. After access to the vehicle was gained, its six other occupants left or were removed to safety, but Ms. Audi, severely injured, lay trapped on the floor behind the driver’s seat. Wanting to avoid the flames in a rescue attempt, Harrison entered the vehicle through its elevated rear hatch, to which he was lifted by others. He made his way toward the front of the vehicle as others used fire extinguishers to prevent flames from spreading. In dense smoke inside the vehicle, Harrison attempted to free Ms. Audi, by then unconscious, but he was unsuccessful. He returned to the hatch and jumped from the vehicle, injuring his knees. Approaching the driver’s door, he re-entered the minivan and from the driver’s seat again attempted to free Ms. Audi, but again he had no success. He exited the vehicle and moved the driver’s seat forward, allowing easier access to Ms. Audi. He pulled her out, then carried her away shortly before spreading flames engulfed the minivan. Ms. Audi was taken to the hospital, but she died of her injuries. Harrison was treated for smoke inhalation and his knee injury, and he recovered.
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