Charles J. Champaine rescued Lena A. Kleven from burning, Valdez, Alaska, April 9, 1997. Ms. Kleven, 22, was trapped in the cab of her pickup truck, which had inverted and caught fire in a highway accident with a larger truck. That vehicle lay overturned and burning six feet away. Another motorist, Champaine, 47, kennel and feed store owner, saw the accident and immediately responded. Despite flames on the outside of Ms. Kleven’s pickup and on the highway in the immediate vicinity, he ran to the driver’s side of the vehicle and kicked out the window. In repeated attempts, Champaine reached in and freed Ms. Kleven from both her safety belt and the wreckage itself. He then grasped Ms. Kleven and pulled her from the pickup just before its cab was engulfed by flames. Ms. Kleven was hospitalized for treatment of extensive injuries, and Champaine sustained smoke inhalation, minor cuts, and a pulled shoulder muscle.
71638 – 816671638-8166