William J. Martinson saved Mildred M. Castor from burning, Escanaba, Michigan, October 18, 2000. Ms. Castor, 64, was a passenger in the back seat of a car driven by her brother-in-law, Martinson, 55. While stopped at a traffic light at a highway intersection, the car was struck from behind by a sport utility vehicle, which itself had been struck by a tractor-trailer. The three vehicles came to rest in close proximity to each other, and flames broke out on them and grew quickly. After Martinson and two other passengers exited the car through its right front door, which was the only one that could be opened, Martinson returned inside the vehicle for Ms. Castor, who was stunned. He urged her to climb into the front seat, then, with flames spreading, he grabbed her by the arms, pulled her into the front seat, and dragged her out of the car. Two other men took Ms. Castor away from the car, part of which was engulfed by flames seconds later, as were the sport utility vehicle and part of the tractor-trailer. Ms. Castor and Martinson required hospital treatment for minor injuries.
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