Christopher T. Cogswell saved Wilton E. Wetter from burning, Hanson, Massachusetts, October 21, 2004. Wetter, 37, remained in the driver’s seat of the car he had been driving, after a nighttime accident in which the car left the roadway, went down a steep embankment, and caught fire in its front end. Cogswell, 36, auctioneer, who lived at the scene, heard the accident and, after reporting it, responded to the top of the embankment, where he saw the crashed and burning car. He descended the embankment to the vehicle, where he found Wetter awake but not making any effort to exit, despite Cogswell’s urging. A young tree blocked access to the driver’s door. Cogswell bent the tree trunk away from the car, then with difficulty opened the door and wedged it against the trunk. He unfastened Wetter’s safety belt, then struggled to pull Wetter out. Spreading flames grew and lapped into the car through a gap at the windshield. With Wetter free of the vehicle, Cogswell started to ascend the embankment but had to return to the car to get Wetter to follow him. They made it safely to the roadway as flames filled the interior of the vehicle. Wetter required hospital treatment, and Cogswell sustained bruises, from which he recovered.
78060 – 898778060-8987