Gretna woman awarded for pulling neighbor out of burning pickup truck

GRETNA, Va. – A Gretna woman has been awarded for her act of 'extraordinary heroism'' after she saved her neighbor who was trapped inside a burning pickup truck. 

Pernice White, 49, and 17 others in the U.S. and Canada were recognized by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission for risking their lives while trying to save others from life-threatening situations. 

White, an emergency medical technician, is recognized for rescuing her 58-year-old neighbor, Wayne Crews, who was trapped inside a burning pickup truck after an accident in March 2018. 

As White was driving home from work, 5-foot-high flames were coming from the truck's engine. She has no burning vehicle rescue training or experience, but she ran to the driver's side door, reached into the open window, grabbed Crews' arm and pulled him toward her. 

White braced her foot on a log and pulled, while Crews pushed with his legs from the inside until he was halfway out of the window. She then grabbed Crews by the back of his jeans and shirt and pulled him through the window to the ground. 

She then dragged Crews away from the burning truck, where the fire had spread to the truck's interior, and put out flames on his legs. 

Crews sustained serious burns to his legs and other injuries. He died three days later. 

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