Linda Nolan helped to rescue Cheryle D. Coons from burning, Vero Beach, Florida, March 23, 2016. Coons, 58, was the driver of a car that, at a rural intersection, collided with a tank truck. Badly injured and trapped, she remained in the driver’s seat as the car caught fire. The tank truck, which came to a stop about 10 feet away, was also burning, as was the diesel fuel that leaked from it. Nolan, 45, on-duty deputy sheriff, responded to the scene with a fire extinguisher, finding that another deputy who had responded was attempting to rescue Coons through the car’s front passenger door. Despite fire at the car’s front end, with flames reaching the windshield and dashboard, and intense heat, Nolan entered the car through the same door, pulled Coons partially over the console, and then, exiting, emptied the extinguisher into the car and onto its hood, as flames were intensifying. The first deputy made another entry, grasped Coons, and pulled her to the roadway. He and Nolan then dragged her to safety as flames grew to engulf the car and destroy both vehicles. Coons was hospitalized for treatment of burns and other injuries, from which she died three weeks later. Nolan required hospital treatment for a first-degree burn to her right hand, and she recovered.
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