Curtis W. Combs, Sr., helped to rescue Kelley B. Peele from burning, Mechanicsville, Virginia, February 15, 2011. Peele, 48, remained in the driver’s seat of her sport utility vehicle after an accident in which the vehicle left the roadway, struck a tree, and caught fire at its front end. She was conscious but badly injured and trapped by wreckage. Combs, 49, collision technician, approached the scene in his vehicle and stopped, joining another motorist who had come upon the scene and was attempting a rescue. Combs went to the burning vehicle and attempted to open its doors but was unsuccessful. He then entered the vehicle head first through the window of the front passenger door and, despite flames by then entering the passenger compartment, worked with the other man to free Peele, whose legs were trapped. The other man then began to pull Peele through the window of the driver’s door as Combs withdrew from the vehicle. The men took Peele to safety as flames grew quickly to engulf the interior of the vehicle. Peele sustained minor burns to her hands and required hospitalization for treatment of other injuries.
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