Joshua Stewart Wright and Jay Ross Muxworthy

Joshua Stewart Wright
Jay Ross Muxworthy

On April 24, 2016, Joshua Stewart Wright saved 2-year-old Jacquelyn D. Andrews, and Jay Ross Muxworthy attempted to rescue 13-month-old James C. Andrews III from a burning SUV in Wilmington, N.C. After a crash in which the SUV’s transmission breached the passenger compartment, siblings Jacquelyn and James remained in the middle row. Flames broke out in its engine area. Wright, 35, electrician, and Muxworthy, 48, restaurant operator, went to the scene. Unable to open the car’s doors, Wright climbed through an opening at the rear windshield, advanced to the middle of the SUV, and grasped Jacquelyn, passing her outside to a bystander. As conditions worsened inside, he exited. Multiple people helped pry open the rear, driver’s-side door, and as flames spread toward James’ safety seat, Muxworthy entered the SUV to his waist and attempted to free James amid blistering heat. Overcome by the conditions, he was forced to withdraw. Flames rapidly engulfed the vehicle, and James did not survive. Jacquelyn was hospitalized for minor injuries, but she was not burned. Wright declined medical attention at the scene, and Muxworthy was hospitalized for nine days for treatment of his burns. He underwent additional treatment for several months following the accident.


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