Leonard Lee Thorsett, 25, aircraft parts expediter, rescued Joseph A. Foulk, 27, truck driver, from burning, Pe Ell, Washington, June 5, 1966. When a tractor trailer containing Foulk and Thorsett plunged down a bank and stopped with the cab tilted against a tree stump, a fuel line ruptured and an explosive flash of flames filled the cab, burning both men. Thorsett was thrown from the cab and sustained a broken aim, while Foulk was trapped beneath the broken steering wheel and covered by a mattress and blankets which had spilled from a sleeping compartment behind the seat. Thorsett ran to the door on the driver’s side. Flames three feet high in front of the cab then were within six feet of the fuel tanks, which contained about 90 gallons of diesel fuel. Heat was intense. Dense smoke issued through the broken window of the door as Thorsett looked inside. He could not see Foulk, who answered his call. Thorsett then ran back to the open door at the right side of the tractor. Because of the tilt of the cab, the flames and smoke issued through the window of the opposite door. Flames were two feet high atop the debris inside the cab. Thorsett probed beneath the debris with his uninjured hand two feet from the flames. He located Foulk, grasped his belt, and with effort pulled him from the cab. Several minutes later the fuel tanks exploded. The tractor trailer was a total lose. Foulk and Thorsett were hospitalized for injuries and burns. They recovered.
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