Ty L. McBride rescued John W. Phillips, Jr., from burning, Charlotte, North Carolina, January 23, 1999. Phillips, 46, was seriously injured and trapped in the driver’s seat of his car after the vehicle left the highway, struck a stand of trees, and caught fire in its engine area. McBride, 25, account executive, was traveling on the same highway when he was flagged down by another motorist and alerted to the accident. Stopping at the scene, McBride responded to the badly damaged car with a fire extinguisher, which he used against the flames. Seeing Phillips struggling amidst flames that were spreading along the driver’s side of the car, McBride stepped over wreckage along the passenger side and entered the back-seat area of the car, the interior of which was exposed. He patted at flames on Phillips’s attire then attempted without success to release his safety belt. After exiting the car for a knife but then realizing that he had a pocketknife on him, McBride re-entered the car and cut Phillips’s safety belt. He then grasped Phillips and pulled him toward the passenger side of the car. With flame conditions worsening, McBride repositioned himself, in the front-seat area of the wreckage, and pulled Phillips from the car. Another man who had arrived helped to move Phillips away. Phillips was taken to the hospital, where he died a few hours later of his injuries and extensive burns. McBride also required hospital treatment, for first- and second-degree burns to his face and hands. He recovered.
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