Vernon E. Vickers rescued Andrew R. Hynton from burning, Terra Ceia, Florida, March 8, 1963. When another automobile collided head on with his small two door sedan and badly crumpled the front end, Hynton’s feet were forced through the flooring and one of his legs was nearly severed. Gasoline from the ruptured fuel tank just forward of the dashboard dripped onto the floor. Vickers, 30, ambulance attendant, arrived in an ambulance and found Hynton, 26, certified public accountant, semi-conscious with his head and shoulders hanging out of the open door. Vickers stepped over Hynton onto the seat beside him and tried in vain to free the latter’s feet. Flames then broke out in the sedan, igniting the gasoline on the floor and burning Vickers. He dived headfirst over Hynton onto the ground, his trousers burning briskly. After beating out the flames, Vickers again stepped over Hynton onto the seat. Flames then burned on the wreckage forward of the passenger compartment, while inside the sedan gusts of flame at times rose to Hynton’s waist. Vickers reached toward Hynton’s feet. Flames flared close to the face of Vickers, and he again dived from the sedan. With a small fire extinguisher, Vickers sprayed the interior flames, which reappeared when the foam was exhausted. Vickers then grasped Hynton and jerked violently, pulling him from the automobile. Hynton was hospitalized and his legs, which were severely burned, had to be amputated. Vickers suffered burns on the head and hands but recovered.
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