Gaston Thibodeau, Jr., helped to save Jean-Paul Brunette from burning, Vaudreuil, Quebec, May 3, 1999. Brunette, 62, was inside the cab of his tractor-trailer after it was involved in a highway accident with another truck. Flames erupted on the exterior of the tractor, on the passenger side. Brunette attempted to exit the cab, but the driver’s door was jammed shut. Thibodeau, 31, an off-duty police officer, drove upon the scene and stopped. He went to Brunette’s tractor, climbed to the driver’s door, and saw Brunette struggling inside the cab. Unable to open the door, Thibodeau broke out the glass in its window, then reached inside and began to pull Brunette out. Brunette was caught by the leg inside the cab. Another man joined Thibodeau at the driver’s side of the tractor and supported Brunette while Thibodeau leaned into the cab and pulled Brunette free, flames by then beginning to enter the cab. Thibodeau and the other man lowered Brunette to the pavement and were hurrying away from the tractor-trailer when an explosion occurred there. The tractor-trailer was eventually engulfed by flame and was destroyed. Brunette was treated at the hospital for cuts, and he recovered.
74470 – 851174470-8511