Lee Pierce helped to rescue Elizabeth A. Testerman from burning, Atlanta, Indiana, January 9, 2006. Testerman, 54, was the driver of a sport utility vehicle that left the roadway, went down an embankment, and struck a concrete culvert. The vehicle came to rest partially on its passenger side and caught fire in its engine compartment. Flames grew and entered the vehicle at its floorboard, burning Testerman. Driving on the same highway, Pierce, 29, cable technician, came upon the scene and stopped, then approached the burning vehicle from the front. Despite four-foot flames on the front of the vehicle, he reached through the broken-out window of the driver’s door and cut one of the straps of Testerman’s safety belt. Another motorist who had responded reached through the windshield and cut the other strap. He and Pierce then pulled Testerman through the windshield and, joined by a third man, carried her to safety. Flames soon engulfed the vehicle and compromised its fuel tank. Testerman required hospitalization for treatment of second-degree burns and other injuries.
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