Darwin Nissen rescued Rick L. Anderson from burning, Council Bluffs, Iowa, April 3, 1989. Anderson, 29, was semi-conscious in the cab of the tractor-trailer he had been driving when it caught fire after an accident on an interstate highway. Driving nearby, Nissen, 40, computer service company executive, witnessed the accident and stopped at the scene. He climbed to the driver’s door of the cab, extended his upper body through the opened window, and pulled Anderson, who was aflame, partly out of the tractor-trailer. Anderson’s leg became caught in the steering wheel, and he hanged upside down from the window when Nissen fell to the ground. Nissen then patted out the flames on Anderson with his hands and, despite flames virtually filling the cab and the intense heat and dense smoke, climbed again to the window of the driver’s door, reached inside, and freed Anderson’s leg. Anderson fell to the ground and was dragged away by others. He was hospitalized three days for second-degree burns to his hands, forehead, and arms, and he recovered.
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