Joel B. LeDon helped to save Matthew T. and Virginia L. Leggett and attempted to rescue Theresa Johnson from burning, San Antonio, Texas, April 21, 1998. Matthew, 14, and his sister Virginia, 17, were back-seat passengers in a car driven by Theresa, 17, that was involved in a head-on collision. Flames broke out in the car’s engine area. A motorist, LeDon, 32, carpenter, stopped at the scene, as did another man. After an unsuccessful attempt to extinguish the flames, they opened the back doors of the car. Entering through the right rear door, LeDon and the other man grasped Matthew, who was unconscious, then pulled him from the car and took him to a point of safety. They returned to the vehicle, which LeDon fully entered through the left rear door. He grasped Virginia underneath the arms while from the opposite door the other man grasped her by the legs. They removed Virginia through the right rear door and took her to safety. LeDon returned to the car and re-entered it for Theresa, despite flames by then spreading to the interior of the car, at the front. LeDon made repeated attempts to free Theresa from the wreckage before advancing flames forced him out. With flames spreading to the other vehicle, which abutted Theresa’s, LeDon and the other man then aided that driver to safety. Matthew and Virginia required hospitalization for treatment of their injuries, and they recovered. Theresa died at the scene. LeDon singed his hair and was sickened from inhaling smoke. He missed several days’ work but fully recovered.
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