Luke Daniel Vaughn helped to save Tracy D. Lopez and helped to rescue Carlos A. Adams from burning, Palm Coast, Florida, April 3, 2012. Badly injured, Lopez, 44, and Adams, 42, remained in the front seat of a car after a nighttime accident in which the vehicle left the highway, crashed into a tree, and caught fire in its engine area. Luke, 17, high school student, and a friend were in the vicinity and heard the crash. They ran to the scene. Finding the driver’s door of the car blocked and the front passenger door jammed shut, Luke and his friend bent down the window frame of the front passenger door to create access to the car’s interior. They then leaned through the opening, grasped Lopez, who was unconscious in the passenger seat, and pulled her out of the car. After taking her away from the vehicle, Luke and his friend returned to the door and again leaned inside. Flames by then were entering the passenger compartment, at the dashboard. Luke and his friend grasped Adams, who was in the driver’s seat, unconscious, his legs trapped by wreckage. They pulled on him, freeing him, and then removed him through the window and away from the car. Flames grew shortly to engulf the vehicle. Lopez and Adams both required hospitalization for treatment of extensive injuries, Adams’s including a serious burn to one foot.
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