Clarence W. Purdy helped to save Jerry K. Pate from burning, Polson, Montana, November 3, 1998. Pate, 38, was unconscious in his pickup truck after the vehicle left the highway, rolled over, and came to rest upright in a ditch. Traveling on the same highway, Purdy, 70, retired foreman, and his wife came upon the scene and saw the truck, which was burning. Although requiring a prosthesis since having his lower right leg amputated two years earlier, Purdy climbed down into the ditch and approached the pickup. As flames issued from underneath the truck’s hood and were entering its interior along the base of the windshield, Purdy broke out the remaining glass of the passenger-door window. He then extended his head and upper body through the window and grasped Pate, who was then semiconscious. Purdy pulled Pate headfirst through the window. Pate fell to the ground. With flames growing on the truck and heat intensifying, Purdy and his wife dragged Pate away from the truck, then removed him from the ditch and took him to their own vehicle, where they tended him. Pate’s truck was shortly engulfed by flames. Pate required hospital treatment for a shoulder injury.
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