Victor W. Kearns, Jr., helped to rescue Ronald E. Sheriff from burning, Lawrence, Kansas, April 21, 1970. A tractor-trailer driven by Sheriff, 23, truckdriver, was involved in an accident and moved from the highway onto grass-covered terrain, where the detached cab of the rig landed upright on the ground alongside the trailer. Escaping fuel caught fire, and flames burned on the trailer and one side of the cab. Kearns, 35, county commissioner, ran to the other side of the cab and was trying without success to open the door when another man arrived. Flames increased as the two men then managed to lower the window. The other man reached into the cab, grasped Sheriff, and pulled him partially through the window opening. Kearns then also took hold of Sheriff, who had suffered extensive burns. Together, Kearns and the other man drew Sheriff out of the cab and moved him away from it. About a minute later the flames increased when a fuel tank exploded. Sheriff and Kearns recovered from burns they had sustained.
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