Stuart Chaffin saved John K. Kristich from burning, Orlando, Florida, December 22, 2014. Kristich, 50, was the driver of a car that, in a highway accident, collided with a truck occupied by three men. Both vehicles burst into flames, as the truck’s fuel tank was ruptured in the collision. Kristich remained in the driver’s seat of his badly damaged car as flames issued from its exposed engine area, and the men in the truck were able to escape that vehicle on their own. Another motorist, Chaffin, 45, asset protection manager, witnessed the accident and stopped at the scene. He ran to Kristich’s car and found Kristich unresponsive and his driver’s door jammed shut. Chaffin then opened the rear door on that side of the car and entered. Despite flames starting to enter the passenger compartment underneath and around the dashboard, he climbed partially over the front seat, dislodged Kristich, and pulled him into the back-seat area. Stepping from the car, Chaffin dragged Kristich out of the vehicle to the nearby median and then farther away, to safety. Chaffin returned toward the burning vehicles to find one of the men from the truck aflame. He held the man down in the median to roll him in the grass and pat out the fire on him. Kristich required hospital treatment for his injuries, as did Chaffin, who sustained burns, up to third-degree, to his hands and legs. The man from the truck whom Chaffin aided died four days later.
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