Tommy James Russell helped to save Richard M. Drew from burning, National City, California, July 24, 1987. Drew, 36, was trapped inside his burning car following a fatal, three-car accident on an interstate highway. Russell, 18, college student, observed the accident scene and went to Drew’s car. Despite flames extending from the rear of the car and having entered its interior, Russell crawled into the car through the passenger window and cut Drew’s safety belt. He then began to push Drew through the driver’s window as another man pulled from outside. After Russell climbed back out of the car, he and the other man removed Drew and carried him to safety moments before the car was engulfed by flame. Drew required hospitalization for his severe injuries.
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