Patricia A. Rupert rescued Jillian M. Badenhop from burning, Liberty Center, Ohio, November 20, 2004. Badenhop, 22, was semiconscious in the driver’s seat of her sport utility vehicle after it was struck from the rear by a tractor-trailer and pushed off the highway onto an embankment. Flames that broke out at the rear of the vehicle entered the passenger compartment. Rupert, 43, homemaker, was the driver of one of the three other vehicles that were involved in the accident. Hearing Badenhop’s cry for help, Rupert, although injured, ran to the burning vehicle. She found the driver’s door jammed, but the window was down or missing. Despite growing flames inside the vehicle, Rupert leaned through the window and grasped Badenhop about the arms. She pulled Badenhop partially through the window, then called for help. Rupert pulled Badenhop the rest of the way from the vehicle, and they fell to the ground. Another motorist carried Badenhop to safety, Rupert following. Flames soon engulfed the vehicle. Badenhop was hospitalized for treatment of her injuries, which included serious burns. Rupert was not burned, but she required hospital treatment for a sprained ankle and other injuries.
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