Kurt James Johnson saved Destineé N. Davis from burning, Pastoria, Virginia, February 6, 2009. Destineé, 3, was a passenger in a car that, at night, left the highway, overturned onto its roof, and caught fire. Her mother escaped the wreckage with two other children. On routine patrol nearby, Johnson, 43, state police trooper, responded to the scene on seeing flames there. Alerted by her mother that Destineé remained in the vehicle, Johnson used his fire extinguisher against flames that issued from the vehicle’s exposed underside and engine area. With flames persisting, being fed by leaking gasoline, Johnson then opened the rear door on the passenger side of the vehicle. Although the passenger compartment was filled with dense smoke that precluded visibility, he crawled inside and maneuvered to the front. Finding Destineé under the dashboard, he grasped her by her jacket and hugged her to himself. He maneuvered back to the opened door and exited the car. Flames spread throughout the vehicle. Destineé was hospitalized for treatment of her injuries, and she recovered. Johnson also required hospital treatment, for smoke inhalation, and he too recovered.
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