Gregory Arthur Leach helped to save Verna T. Cissell and Russell A. Taylor from burning, Bridgeton, Missouri, October 23, 1965. At night, Mrs. Cissell, 51, and Taylor, 37, were knocked unconscious when their station wagon was involved in a collision and stopped in the middle of a highway with its front end against the side of a coupe. The fuel tank of the latter vehicle was ruptured, and burning gasoline spread over the road. Flames rose eight feet from the pavement at the rear of the two automobiles. The inside of the station wagon was filled with smoke, and there was a strong odor of gasoline. Leach, 22, aircraft painter, and another man ran to the station wagon’s front right door, which had been opened by another rescuer. Flames were about a foot high off the pavement there. The other man leaned into the front seat and located Mrs. Cissell on the floor. He drew her to the doorway, and Leach then also reached inside and took hold of her. As others who had gathered shouted warnings of a possible explosion, Leach and the other man were joined by the first rescuer in pulling Mrs. Cissell from the automobile. As the two other men carried her to the side of the road, Leach leaned into the front seat until only his lower legs were outside. He located Taylor and pulled him to the doorway, then he probed the rear seat section but found no others. One of the other men returned and aided him in removing Taylor. Mrs. Cissell and Taylor were hospitalized for their injuries and recovered. Leach sustained hand burns, which healed.
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