Raymond M. Ross saved Isabella Washington from burning, Gray, Louisiana, October 5, 1998. Semiconscious and with her legs pinned, Ms. Washington, 51, was in the driver’s seat of an automobile that, in a highway accident, left the roadway and caught fire on its underside. Another motorist, Ross, 52, truck driver, witnessed the accident and responded to the scene. After turning off the car’s ignition and aiding Ms. Washington’s passenger to safety, Ross returned to the car, re-entered it, and released Ms. Washington’s safety belt. Growing flames from the underside of the car forced him away momentarily. After Ross and another man fought the flames with fire extinguishers, Ross re-entered the car again. Ms. Washington freed one of her legs; Ross freed the other, then pulled Ms. Washington from the car and helped move her away. An explosive rush of flame, thought to be from the fuel tank, occurred during the rescue, and flames entered the car shortly after it. Ms. Washington required hospitalization for injuries sustained in the accident.
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