Robert Rex Miller helped to rescue Silvestre O. Garcia from burning, San Diego, California, April 29, 2005. Semiconscious, Garcia, 31, was trapped inside his car after an interstate highway accident in which the car was rear-ended by a sport utility vehicle. Four other vehicles were then struck. Garcia’s car and the sport utility vehicle came to rest in contact with each other on their driver’s sides, and both were burning, with flames spreading to the back-seat area of Garcia’s car. Miller, 45, plumber, was in one of the other involved vehicles. Uninjured, he exited that vehicle and, taking a hammer, responded to the passenger side of Garcia’s car. Miller broke out the window of the passenger door with the hammer, then leaned inside the car to his waist, singeing his hair and clothing. He cut Garcia’s safety belt, then grasped and pulled him headfirst partially through the window. Another man helped to remove Garcia the rest of the way from the car. He and Miller then dragged Garcia to safety. Flames shortly engulfed both vehicles. Garcia was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, which included burns. Miller also was treated at the hospital, for arm and hand lacerations. He recovered.
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