Rodney Bone helped to save Mortarice D. Collier and David A. Wallace from burning, San Jon, New Mexico, July 31, 2011. Collier, 47, was trapped in the cab of a tractor-trailer after the vehicle struck the rear of another tractor-trailer on a ramp of an interstate highway. Flames broke out on the passenger side of Collier’s tractor and spread into the cab and its sleeper berth, where Wallace, 52, had been sleeping. Nearby, Bone, 40, an officer with the state’s motor transportation police, was alerted to the accident, and he immediately responded. Seeing Collier pounding on the window of the driver’s door, which was jammed shut, Bone climbed onto the wreckage of the fuel tank housing and broke out the window. He reached into the cab, grasped Collier, and started to pull him through the window to safety, Collier then climbing down to the pavement. Alerted that Wallace remained in the cab, Bone returned to the window and saw that Wallace was lying unconscious on the floor, between the seats. Bone attempted without success to reach him as flames grew in the cab and sleeper; likewise, his efforts at opening the door were not successful. A state police officer arrived about then. He entered the cab head first through the window, grasped Wallace, and, as Bone held to his legs, worked to free him. After the officer then maneuvered from the cab, pulling Wallace, Bone grasped Wallace, whose clothing was burning, and took him to the pavement. Flames shortly engulfed the cab and spread to the trailers of both vehicles, destroying them. Wallace was hospitalized for treatment of significant injuries, including burns to his arms and legs.
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