Donald K. Casey helped to save Franklin Montes from burning, Brooklyn, New York, September 13, 2006. Montes, 58, remained in the cab of a tractor-trailer after the vehicle struck a support pillar of an overpass that spanned the highway on which he was traveling. The cab overturned onto its passenger side in the accident, and flames that broke out at the vehicle’s engine spread to the highway surface nearby and grew quickly. Casey, 45, off-duty firefighter, was traveling on the highway when he witnessed the accident, his vehicle being struck by debris. He stopped at the scene and ran to the front of the cab, where he found Montes trapped inside. Joined in the effort by another man, Casey reached through the broken-out windshield and grasped Montes, whose leg was caught beneath the dashboard. The two rescuers pulled on Montes, freeing him of the wreckage, and then dragged him to safety across the lanes of the highway. They positioned themselves behind another overpass pillar just moments before a major explosion at the tractor sent debris flying. Montes required hospitalization for treatment of significant injuries, but he was not burned. Casey was treated at the hospital for first-degree burns to his face and forearms, and he recovered.
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