John Archibald Lewis saved Harry and Steven C. Oosterom from burning, Kingston, Nova Scotia, August 1, 1997. Oosterom, 38, was the driver of a tractor-trailer that caught fire and left the highway after a head-on collision with another vehicle. Steven, 7, his son, was also in the cab. The driver’s side of the tractor was aflame, and a fuel tank located there had ruptured in the accident. A motorist, Lewis, 40, paramedic, was approaching the scene when he saw the accident. Lewis approached the passenger side of the rig and climbed to a running board just above a fuel tank located there. He reached his upper body through the open window of the passenger door and grasped Steven, who was on the floor. He pulled Steven through the window and handed him to another man who had arrived. Lewis then partially entered the cab again. He grasped Oosterom, removed him from the cab through the window, then stepped to the ground with him and walked him away from the tractor. Moments later, the tractor was engulfed by flame. Steven and Oosterom were hospitalized overnight for treatment of their injuries, Oosterom’s including minor burns to the left side of his body. They recovered. Lewis injured an ankle in the rescue, and he too recovered.
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