Ontario truck driver earns Award of Valor
Aug 1, 2004 12:00 PM
Charles Carriere, a truck driver for Villeneuve Tank Lines of Cornwall, Ontario, received an Award of Valor at the 35th annual National Transportation Week Ontario Awards Breakfast in Toronto recently.
The award is presented each year to member(s) of the transportation community in recognition of heroic actions.
At about 8:30 pm Dec 11, 2003, Carriere was driving west on Highway 401 near the Cataraqui Marsh in Kingston, Ontario, when he noticed a set of headlights on the eastbound side of the highway veer off the road and plunge into a field of trees. Suddenly, he saw a ball of flames erupt from the vehicle.
Carriere immediately pulled over, parked his truck on the side of the highway, and phoned 911. Then he grabbed a fire extinguisher from his truck, ran to the crash site, and attempted to douse the flames coming from the car's engine.
When he subdued the fire enough to see through the thick smoke, Carriere opened the car's driver-side door and found an unconscious woman inside, wedged in place by the pushed-in dash and steering wheel. At this point, the flames regained their fury and shot up to the roof, igniting the woman's hair. Carriere patted the flames out. Then, unable to reach the latch of her seat belt, he attempted to free the woman by cutting the seat belt with a pocketknife.
When this didn't work, Carriere entered the car through the back seat to try from there. By this time, others had shown up on the scene and offered assistance. With the help of another man, Carriere was able to free the woman. By the time emergency crews showed up, the car was engulfed in flames.
The lady was taken to hospital with two broken legs and cuts and bruises. Carriere was credited with saving her life.
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