Eric A. Erwin saved Lisa L. Owsley from burning, St. Peters, Missouri, May 13, 1999. After a multi-vehicle accident on an interstate highway, Ms. Owsley, 25, was trapped inside her car, which was pinned against a concrete medial barrier by a tractor-trailer. Flames had broken out at a fuel tank on the tractor-trailer and spread quickly to that vehicle and to Ms. Owsley’s car. Erwin, 37, limousine service operator, witnessed the accident while traveling on the highway. He stopped and ran to the scene. At Ms. Owsley’s car, Erwin mounted the barrier and broke out the window of the car’s driver’s door. He then extended his upper body into the car, in which flames had spread to the back seat, and, after freeing Ms. Owsley’s leg, pulled her through the window and over the barrier. Flames shortly engulfed the car, as well as the tractor, and burning fuel flowed along the highway. As Erwin was moving Ms. Owsley away from the car, two men responded and helped take her to a point of safety. Ms. Owsley required hospitalization for treatment of her injuries. Erwin, whose hair was singed, sustained lacerations to his hands, from which he recovered.
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