Gene R. Hassebrock helped to save Harold V. Sykes from burning, Jewell, Iowa, August 8, 1961. When a tire blew out on the four-door sedan which Sykes, 53, salesman, was driving, the automobile rolled over and stopped in a field in an upright position. The rear end burst into flames which rose eight feet above the ground. Flames filled the badly damaged trunk and covered the rear seat, and gasoline burned on the ground under much of the sedan. Hassebrock, 25, grain company department superintendent, and Arthur P. Wollmann, in separate automobiles, witnessed the accident and ran to the sedan. Hassebrock arrived first, opened the sprung front door with some difficulty, and saw Sykes lying on the floor, severely injured and unconscious. Bracing the door open with one shoulder, Hassebrock reached inside and tried without success to pull Sykes from the automobile in which there was considerable heat. As Hassebrock stepped back for air, Wollmann jerked the door open violently so that it remained almost fully ajar and extended his head and arms inside. Unable to move Sykes, he also stepped back briefly for air. Hassebrock then moved to behind Wollmann, who extended his head and shoulders into the sedan, locking his arms about the legs of Sykes. Leaning over Wollmann, Hassebrock extended his upper body into the sedan and grasped Sykes. Within three feet of the nearest flames, both men pulled but could not move Sykes, whose feet were wedged in a corner. Wollmann freed Sykes and together he and Hassebrock then drew him from the sedan and carried him a safe distance away. Firemen soon arrived, but by then the entire automobile was in flames. Sykes was hospitalized for his injuries.
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