Ryan G. Belanger saved Paula M. Halla from burning, Bedford, New Hampshire, April 8, 2000. Ms. Halla, 53, was trapped by wreckage in the driver’s seat of her car after an accident in which the car left the highway, struck a tree head on, and caught fire. Witnessing the accident, Belanger, 24, business operator, who was traveling on the same highway, ran to the car and attempted to open the doors on its driver’s side, but they were jammed. He then tried, again without success, to extinguish flames on the passenger side of the car. Returning to the driver’s side, Belanger pried open the rear door and entered the car. He pulled on the back of Ms. Halla’s seat, then, with difficulty, dislodged it by stomping on it. He grasped Ms. Halla underneath the arms and, backing out of the car through the rear door, pulled her out of her seat and then from the car. They fell to the ground beside the car, flames then beginning to enter its interior. Others helped them away from the car, which was shortly engulfed by flames. Ms. Halla required hospital treatment for her injuries.
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