Ryan P. Van Wave rescued Joshua A. Perkins from burning, O’Fallon, Missouri, March 8, 2010. Perkins, 23, was the driver of an automobile that, at night, left the roadway, struck a traffic signal box, and came to rest on its passenger side. Flames broke out at the front end of the vehicle and began to spread inside. On patrol nearby, Van Wave, 27, police officer, responded to the scene. Learning that the vehicle was occupied, he opened its rear hatch door, entered partially, and extended an arm to Perkins, who was sitting on the passenger side of the vehicle, his back against the roof. When Perkins did not respond, Van Wave fully entered the car and moved toward him. He grasped Perkins, hugged him to himself, and then backed toward the hatch door, pulling Perkins. They exited to safety as flames spread inside the vehicle. Aided by others, Van Wave carried Perkins farther from the car. Perkins, who sustained minor burns to his face, was hospitalized for injuries sustained in the crash.
83029 – 942083029-9420