Michael K. Daley rescued Sandra L. Rodriquez from burning, Jeffersontown, Kentucky, February 5, 2002. Ms. Rodriquez, 43, was the passenger in the cab of a tractor-trailer that, driven by her husband, rolled onto its passenger side during an interstate highway accident in the darkness. The rig skidded along the highway before stopping with its cab somewhat elevated over the pavement. Her husband escaped the cab, but Ms. Rodriguez remained inside, her lower body trapped in the wreckage. Flames broke out on the trailer, which had been carrying hazardous and flammable cargo, and they grew and spread quickly. Driving on the highway, Daley, 47, salesman, saw the wreckage and ran to the scene. As fire consumed the trailer, he worked himself into the space between the pavement and the passenger side of the cab and, reaching through the window of the passenger door, pulled on Ms. Rodriquez. After a struggle, during which flames spread to the inside of the cab, Daley freed Ms. Rodriquez and pulled her from the vehicle. He extinguished flames on her, then helped her husband and others carry her away. Ms. Rodriquez was hospitalized about five months for treatment of severe and extensive burns and other injuries. Daley also required hospital treatment, for first-degree burns to both hands. He recovered.
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