Michael J. Hickey rescued Karl Hawkins and Jean Hastic from burning, Queens, New York, July 12, 2006. Hawkins, 44, and Hastic, 60, were among nine passengers in a van that left the highway and struck a tree. Fire erupted immediately on the vehicle and spread to its interior. Another motorist, Hickey, 35, truck driver, came upon the scene and stopped. He entered the van through a side door and pulled Hawkins out and to the pavement. Despite flames issuing throughout the van’s interior, he stepped inside again and found that Hastic was caught in the wreckage. He freed her, pulled her from the van, and carried her away. Growing flames precluded Hawkins’s further rescue attempts, and five of the passengers perished, the driver and two other passengers escaping to safety. Both Hawkins and Hastic required hospitalization for treatment of their burns.
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