Jon F. Kirkleski saved Stefan G. Schenck from burning, Bayville, New Jersey, February 26, 2003. Schenck, 33, remained in the cab of his pickup truck after an accident in which the vehicle left the highway, went down an embankment into the wooded median, and overturned onto its passenger side. Another motorist, Kirkleski, 41, carpenter, witnessed the accident and stopped at the scene. He descended the embankment to the vehicle, the engine of which was still running. Kirkleski turned the engine off and was tending to Schenck when flames erupted at the front of the pickup. He kicked out the vehicle’s back window, stepped inside the cab, and freed Schenck’s legs, which were trapped. He then grasped Schenck about the shoulders and stepped through the window, pulling him. Not fully conscious, Schenck was unable to walk, and Kirkleski dragged him partway up the embankment, his progress impeded by Schenck’s greater weight. Flames grew higher and spread to the rest of the pickup. Schenck regained consciousness, and he and Kirkleski ran the remaining distance to safety. Schenck was hospitalized for treatment of injuries received in the accident, and he recovered.
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