Justin Frederick Zurilla saved Jayden M. Shird from burning, Rossville, Maryland, May 19, 2005. Following a highway accident involving the sport utility vehicle in which he was the passenger, Jayden, 2, remained strapped in his car seat, which was secured to the back seat. The vehicle was overturned, and flames had broken out at its front end, where they entered the passenger compartment. From nearby, Zurilla, 34, mortgage broker, heard the accident. He approached the vehicle on its passenger side and attempted to open the back door on seeing Jayden inside, but the door was inoperable. Zurilla then went to the rear of the vehicle and entered it through the broken-out window. Lying on his back, he positioned himself at a point underneath Jayden and worked to free him from his seat. After repeated attempts, Zurilla did so, and then he handed Jayden through the window to a woman who had responded. Zurilla exited the vehicle to safety. Jayden was hospitalized but was not seriously injured, and Zurilla suffered minor scrapes and bruises. They recovered.
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