Paul D. Meeks rescued Daniel Richman from burning, Port Orange, Florida, November 1, 2006. Richman, 37, was the student pilot of a twin-engine airplane that crashed during a training flight. The craft landed upright in a field in a residential area and caught fire, with flames quickly spreading in the fuselage. Richman was rendered unconscious in the accident and remained strapped to his seat. In his nearby residence, Meeks, 63, retired service technician, heard the crash. After reporting it, he ran to the scene, where through an open door in the plane he saw Richman moving. Despite the advancing flames, Meeks reached into the craft and attempted to release Richman’s safety belt. He withdrew to obtain a knife, then re-entered, flames having spread to Richman’s clothing. After cutting the belt, Meeks grasped Richman, pulled him from the plane, and dragged him to safety. Badly injured and burned, Richman was taken to the hospital, where he died a few hours later. Meeks sustained minor burns to his hands and was treated at the scene. He recovered.
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