James W. Rodin helped to rescue Frances B. Coon from burning, San Lucas, California, January 16, 2004. Coon, 46, was the front-seat passenger in a sport utility vehicle that crashed on an interstate highway before dawn. The vehicle rolled over in the accident but came to rest upright, flames breaking out at its front end and spreading. Coon, injured and dazed, remained in her seat. Responding motorists included Rodin, 41, power plant operator. He attempted to open the front passenger door while another responding motorist tried to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher. Neither attempt was successful. As flames reached the vehicle’s dashboard, Rodin opened the rear passenger door and worked to free Coon from her seat. He then entered the back seat from the left rear door and, aided by the other motorist, pulled Coon into the back seat area. They removed her from the vehicle through the left rear door and carried her away shortly before flames engulfed the vehicle’s interior. Coon required hospitalization for her injuries, which included minor burns, and Rodin sustained a cut on his hand. They recovered.
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