Jon R. Sallee helped to save James M. Polehinke from burning, Lexington, Kentucky, August 27, 2006. Polehinke, 44, was the co-pilot of a commercial regional jet that crashed during takeoff and caught fire. Severely injured, he remained restrained by a harness to his seat in the cockpit. Sallee, 26, airport public safety officer, responded to the scene, where he found that flames had engulfed the wreckage except for the area of the cockpit. Approaching the cockpit, Sallee saw that a responding police officer was inside, attempting to free Polehinke. Sallee also entered the cockpit, through a gap in the wreckage at the nose of the jet. Working together, he and the officer freed Polehinke, but with difficulty, flames just feet away. They then pulled him from the cockpit and dragged him toward a responder’s vehicle that had arrived. Polehinke required extensive hospitalization. The 49 other passengers and crewmembers of the jet died in the accident.
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