George V. Valdez, 49, tire inspector, saved Elizabeth L. Althouse, 20, following an automobile accident on the Golden State Freeway, Los Angeles, California, February 23, 1969. When a two-car accident occurred on the eight-lane freeway, Miss Althouse was thrown from one of the automobiles, and her right leg was completely severed. She lay in the traffic lane nearest the median fence, while her severed leg was in the farthest lane. Traffic continued by as vehicles merged into the two unobstructed lanes; while on the other side of the median, traffic also was forced into two lanes because of the wrecked automobile. Valdez stopped his automobile on the shoulder of the highway. Waving his jacket as a signal, he crossed the four lanes to the median fence. He climbed over the fence and ran to Miss Althouse, who was 13 feet from it. Valdez noted the severed leg 40 feet away. As Valdez removed his belt and used it for a tourniquet on Miss Althouse, traffic sped by in the adjoining lanes. Again waving his jacket as a traffic signal, Valdez then ran across the highway to the severed leg in the outside lane, where an automobile approached and stopped. Valdez ran to the vehicle and appropriated the keys so that traffic in that lane was blocked. He then flagged down other automobiles and took the keys from them, halting traffic in two more lanes. The fourth lane was blocked by the inert form of Miss Althouse. Obtaining an electric cord from one of the motorists, Valdez used it as an additional tourniquet on Miss Althouse. She was removed to a hospital, where surgeons successfully reattached the severed leg. She recovered.
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