Vincent Todd Yannayon rescued Doris J. Dodson from burning, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, July 1, 1997. Ms. Dodson, 67, was trapped inside her car after a violent highway accident in which the car’s fuel tank exploded and set fire to the vehicle. Ms. Dodson was thrown such that her head lay near the pedals and her legs extended toward the back-seat area of the car. Yannayon, 35, who was outside the nearby wood shop he owned and operated, saw the accident and immediately ran to the car. He approached the driver’s side and was driven back by intense heat but returned to the car and opened the driver’s door. Entering the car, the interior of which was aflame, he knelt on the driver’s seat and freed Ms. Dodson from the wreckage. Yannayon grasped Ms. Dodson underneath the arms and backed out of the car with her shortly before it was engulfed by flame. He dragged Ms. Dodson, who outweighed him, to a point across the highway, then shielded her from the heat until firefighters arrived. Ms. Dodson required hospitalization for severe injuries and burns. Yannayon was treated for first- and second-degree burns to an arm and a laceration to his knee that required sutures. He recovered.
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