James Wyatt helped to save Brad E. Vandeventer from burning, Louisville, Kentucky, November 7, 2017. In an accident on an interstate, Vandeventer, 59, remained inside the cabin of a semi-truck that overturned onto its passenger side and slid into a retaining wall. Fire burned on the truck’s undercarriage and at the front end, and leaked diesel fuel caught fire on the road. Wyatt, 42, a teacher who was driving in the opposite direction, parked on the interstate, climbed over the median wall, and went to the truck, as did an off-duty police officer. Smoke inside the cabin prohibited them from seeing Vandeventer, and they were unable to break the windshield. After the rupture of an air hose, flames briefly intensified; they stepped back. Smoke issued from the front end. Wyatt and the officer then moved to the truck’s skylight area. After the officer used his handheld radio to break out a skylight window at their chest level, Wyatt and the officer grasped Vandeventer’s upper body at the opening and pulled him to the ground. Wyatt and the officer then lifted Vandeventer over the retaining wall to shield him from the flames that grew to consume the truck. Vandeventer was not burned.
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