Jesse C. Garcia IV saved Morgan C. Bryant from burning, Adkins, Texas, November 3, 2012. Bryant, 19, was trapped in the driver’s seat of her car after a nighttime accident in which the vehicle left the roadway and struck a utility pole. Flames broke out at the front of the vehicle and entered the front of its passenger compartment. Conscious, Bryant screamed for help. Garcia, 50, police officer, was on his way home from work in another municipality when he came upon the scene. He approached the driver’s side of the burning car, leaned inside, and attempted to release Bryant’s safety belt but found that it was jammed. Holding the belt to flames issuing from the console area, Garcia pulled and stretched it until it broke as it caught fire, and spreading flames ignited his uniform near the shoulder area. After freeing Bryant of the belt, Garcia lifted her from the car. Flames grew shortly to engulf and destroy the vehicle. Bryant required hospitalization for treatment of serious burns and other injuries, and Garcia was treated at the emergency room for first- and second-degree burns to his right arm and the right side of his face. He fully recovered.
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