Van L. Anderson

Van L. AndersonVan L. Anderson, 54, a paving equipment operator of Chattanooga, Tenn., on Feb. 17, 2018, rescued 3-year-old Hazel Baldschun from the effects of a hazardous acid, after a semi-truck containing 5,000 gallons of toxic monochloroacetic acid hit the pickup truck containing Hazel and her mother and came to rest atop the pickup on an embankment. The acid was escaping the tanker and flowing into the pickup truck. Ignoring a 911 operator’s warning not to approach the wreckage and despite the acid continuing to flow into the pickup truck near Hazel, Anderson, who heard the accident from his house nearby, moved to the pickup. While standing on a rock outcrop adjacent to the pickup, he reached inside the vehicle, unfastened Hazel from her car seat, and lifted her from the truck. Anderson carried Hazel away from the wreck to safety. She had facial burns from the acid. Her mother died in the accident.