Demont Matthews died attempting to help save Frederick L. Person from burning, Dallas, Texas, January 14, 2003. Person, 27, was unconscious and trapped inside his burning car after an interstate highway accident at night. Matthews, 23, was traveling in another vehicle with a friend. They stopped at the scene and responded to the driver’s side of Person’s car, which had come to rest in the inside lane and from which flames issued in the engine area. They told a third man who then joined them that they had attempted a rescue but could not remove Person’s safety belt. The third man entered the car through the opened driver’s door and in repeated attempts was likewise unable to remove the belt, Matthews and his friend remaining at the driver’s door. A car traveling at an extremely high rate of speed approached the scene and passed the burning car on its driver’s side, striking the three rescuers. Matthews and his friend were thrown 150 feet. They died of their injuries. The third man was severely injured in his left leg but made it to the safety of the shoulder.
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