Jason Allen Williams rescued Michael J. Bridges from a burning vehicle in Apopka, Fla. on Aug. 4, 2016.
Bridges, 61, was the driver of a grapple truck that was in an accident in which the vehicle left the roadway, traveled about 200 feet until it hit a ditch, rolled onto its driver’s side and caught fire at its front end.
Williams, 32, truck driver of Orange City, Fla., witnessed the accident and stopped to assist. He approached the front end of the vehicle, initially intending to break out the windshield, and heard screams coming from the passenger side. Despite flames burning at the front end and underside of the vehicle, Williams climbed atop the vehicle and opened the passenger door. He extended his head and arms inside, pulled on Bridges’s arms but slipped and fell from the truck.
He again climbed to the top of the truck and reached inside, grasped Bridges about his belt and pulled him out of the vehicle. Bridges rolled over Williams, and both men fell from the vehicle to the ground. A woman who responded assisted Williams in aiding Bridges to safety.
Flames grew to engulf the cab. Bridges required hospital treatment for his injuries, which included severe burns. Williams suffered minor burns, and he recovered.