Michael V. Sharpe saved Marc W. Bissonnette from burning, Wandering River, Alberta, September 29, 2009. Bissonnette, 40, was driving a tractor-trailer that, in an accident, left the highway, rolled over onto its driver’s side, and came to rest off the shoulder. Flames immediately broke out between the tractor and the first of its two tandem trailers, which carried a total of 9,200 gallons of jet fuel. Bissonnette retained consciousness but was trapped in the cab. Traveling on the same highway, Sharpe, 35, heavy haul operator, witnessed the accident and stopped at the scene. Not seeing anyone leave the burning rig, he approached it, despite its intense and growing flames. After he unsuccessfully attempted to kick out one of the tractor’s windows with a coworker, Sharpe climbed atop the tractor and worked to open its passenger-side door, having to remove items of wreckage that blocked it. He pulled the door open sufficiently for Bissonnette to climb from the tractor, and then he and Bissonnette descended to ground level and retreated to safety. Flames grew to engulf and destroy the tractor and first trailer, consuming its fuel, and the second trailer was badly damaged. Bissonnette recovered from minor injury. Sharpe sustained burns, including a third-degree burn to one arm that required hospital treatment. He too recovered.
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