Wesley E. DeVane helped to rescue Justin A. Wilks from burning, Spring Hill, Alabama, November 12, 2004. Semiconscious, Wilks, 21, was trapped in the driver’s seat of a burning pickup truck after a highway accident at night. Traveling together on the same road, DeVane, 40, transportation supervisor, and a friend responded to the scene. Hearing Wilks scream, they went to the driver’s door of the truck, despite flames issuing from its front end and leaking gasoline on the pavement. DeVane forced open the door, then extended his upper body into the truck and released Wilks’s safety belt. The other man freed Wilks’s feet from the pedals. As DeVane grasped Wilks about the upper body, the other man held him by the legs. They pulled him from the truck just moments before an explosive rush of flames engulfed the vehicle and spread to another vehicle nearby that also had been involved in the accident. Wilks was hospitalized three days for treatment of injuries sustained in the accident, including a minor burn.
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