Thomas Everett Heddon, 24, student, helped to rescue Daniel W. Hehr, 23, teacher, from burning, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, June 5, 1966. The two-door convertible in which Hehr and a young woman were riding was struck from behind by another automobile, which badly crumpled the convertible and knocked it into a ditch with the front end tilted upward. The fuel tank was ruptured, and fire broke out. Flames rose 12 to 15 feet above the ground along the left side and across the rear, while others filled the interior. Heddon ran to near the driver’s side and through the flames saw the woman inside the vehicle. Emery Louis Brisson and Tyrus R. Wessell, Jr., ran to the other side of the automobile, from where they could see Hehr attempting to get out. Wessell tried to open the door but it was too badly crumpled, although the glass had not been broken. Brisson beat on the window with both hands but could not break it. Heddon then joined them at the right door. Noting that most of the windshield had fallen out, Heddon struck the remaining section a sharp blow, knocking the glass into the automobile. Heddon extended his hand into the opening and tried to pull Hehr out but lost his hold. Hehr then thrust his head and arm through the windshield opening. Heddon took hold of him by the collar of his jacket and drew him onto the hood with only his feet still inside the automobile. Brisson took hold of Hehr by one leg and pulled. Heddon then grasped Hehr with both hands and drew him from the automobile onto the ground. As Brisson and Wessell continued their unsuccessful efforts to enter the convertible to aid the woman, Heddon moved Hehr 15 feet away. The cloth top of the convertible then burned through and fell in. The intense heat forced Brisson and Wessell to retreat. The woman died in the flames. Hehr was hospitalized with nearly fatal burns. Heddon sustained burns on his hand and arm, which healed.
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