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Persistence pays off.

On June 29, 2003, in Kingston, Idaho, a pickup truck driven by Vaughn Gaschet de l'Isle was involved in an accident which caused it to leave the road, partially overturn, and lie with its passenger side door pressed against an embankment. Fire broke out at the back of the pickup and flames quickly spread to the cab.

Floyd Pollard of Smelterville, a partially disabled logger, witnessed the accident from a nearby overpass. He stopped, climbed over a guardrail, and went down the embankment to the highway. He then sought to assist de l'Isle, who had unbuckled his safety belt but could not open the jammed driver's side door. Pollard was also unable to open the door, so he tried to break out the door's window. When that effort also failed, he climbed onto the truck's hood and attempted to pull out the windshield, cutting his hands on the glass. Refusing to give up despite the spreading flames, he eventually managed to kick out the windshield and move it aside.

As de l'Isle reached through the opening, Pollard grasped his arms and pulled him from the cab. He then helped de l'Isle walk a short distance moments before the truck became completely engulfed in flames.

After a brief hospitalization for treatment of a burn on one ear and a few other minor injuries, de l'Isle was released. Other than the cuts on his hands, Pollard was not injured. In April of this year, the latter was awarded a Carnegie Medal and $3,500 grant by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission for risking his life "to an extraordinary degree" to save de l'Isle.
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Title Annotation:The Goodness Of America
Author:Lee, Robert W.
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U8ID
Date:Nov 15, 2004
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