Michael Allen Hill helped to save Lauren M. Coffee from burning, Columbia City, Indiana, February 21, 2008. Coffee, 18, was the driver of a four-door automobile that, at night, left a snowy highway at a bridge, went down a steep embankment, and came to rest on its roof in a creek about three feet deep. At some point, flames broke out on the vehicle. Hill, 44, farmer, drove upon the scene and discovered the accident. After reporting it, he descended the embankment to the car and saw Coffee’s arm extended through the window of the driver’s door. Despite flames issuing from the exposed underside of the vehicle, Hill, standing partially in the creek, reached his upper body through the window and grasped Coffee. He pulled her partially from the vehicle. Others arrived and assisted in fully removing Coffee and pulling her to the creek bank as something on the car exploded. Because the embankment was steep and icy, the men carried Coffee through the creek to a point underneath the bridge, where they rested briefly as smoke from the fire hung in the air there. Another explosion at the vehicle occurred. Other responders carried Coffee back to the level of the highway, and she was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries. Hill also received hospital treatment, for smoke inhalation, and he recovered.
81744 – 931381744-9313