Richard H. Spencer, Jr., saved Clay T. Jones from burning, Sumter, South Carolina, July 15, 2002. Jones, 42, was the sole occupant of an automobile that left the roadway, struck and broke off a utility pole, and overturned onto its roof. Gasoline spilled from the car and fire erupted at the rear of the vehicle as Jones, unconscious, was suspended upside down in the driver’s seat, his feet caught. A motorist, Spencer, 45, retired firefighter, witnessed the accident and stopped at the scene. Although he suffered heart disease, he approached the burning car and emptied a fire extinguisher on the flames, but to little effect. With difficulty, Spencer then pulled open the driver’s door. He crawled part way into the car, the interior of which was burning, and freed Jones’s feet. Backing out, he pulled Jones from the car and helped drag him to safety. Jones required hospital treatment for his injuries.
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Richard H. Spencer, 50, of Sumter, S.C., died on May 17, 2007.
Born in Sumter, he was the son of Lila Jett Spencer and the Richard H. Spencer, Sr.
He was retired from the Sumter Fire Department and was the recipient of the Carnegie Medal for outstanding heroism. Spencer was an avid race car driver and rode with Sumter Back Trackers motorcycle club. He attended Bethesda Church of God.
Burial was in Evergreen Memorial Park in Sumter.
(Edited from The Item.com, May 20, 2007.)