William L. O’Connor helped to rescue Leslie K. Hislop from burning, Gold Beach, Oregon, September 26, 2011. Hislop, 74, remained in the driver’s seat, secured by his safety belt, after an accident in which his pickup truck left the roadway and overturned onto its passenger side on an embankment just off the road shoulder. Flames erupted in the engine compartment and spread to the front of the exposed undercarriage and the interior of the cab. Motorists, including O’Connor, 64, stopped at the scene. O’Connor descended the embankment and attempted, without success, to open the driver’s door. He then kicked a hole in the windshield but found that he was unable to remove Hislop through it. Obtaining a tool from one of the other motorists, O’Connor broke out the window of the driver’s door, leaned into the cab, and cut Hislop’s shoulder and lap belts. Freed of them, Hislop fell to the bottom of the cab. O’Connor and another man leaned inside the cab, grasped Hislop, and pulled him from the wreckage. Flames spread to destroy the vehicle. Hislop was hospitalized for treatment of burns to his legs, and O’Connor recovered within a few days from exposure to smoke.
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