TORONTO, Ont. – Larry Lewis, Larry Wheatley and Dave Brodrecht, all with Woodcock Brothers Transportation Group (Sebringville), were presented with an Award of Valor this morning at the 36th annual National Transportation Week (Ontario) Awards Breakfast in Toronto.
The award is presented each year to member(s) of the transportation community in recognition of heroic actions. On August 21, 2004, Woodcock Brothers Transportation Body Shop Mechanic Larry Lewis and Shop Manager Larry Wheatley were on their way to New Hamburg when they came upon the scene of a head-on car-van crash. The pair immediately phoned 911 and then ran to the accident to find one woman trapped in the van and a man and woman trapped in the car.
The van appeared to be burning under the hood.
Lewis comforted the woman in the van and assured her that everything would be fine. He noticed the van was on fire and made the decision that he could wait no longer for emergency personnel to arrive to remove the woman from the burning van. Putting himself at risk he freed the woman from the van and removed her to a safe place.
Meanwhile, Wheatley took action to deal with the fire by seeking a fire extinguisher from bystanders.
Lewis cut away the woman’s seatbelt and along with Mr. Wheatley removed her from the vehicle through the driver’s window and lay her safely on the road away from vehicles. A third man, owner/operator Dave Brodrecht contracted to Woodcock Brothers Transportation also stepped into the fray. Brodrecht, aided by another bystander, tried to prevent the fire from spreading to the car where the man and woman were trapped. Attaching a chain to the bumper of the smashed car, they used Brodrecht’s truck to pull it away from the burning van and out of danger. Shortly after the car was removed, the van became fully engulfed in flames. Brodrecht had managed to get the small fire in the car under control.
Firefighters from Wilmot Fire Department later arrived and were able to extricate the two occupants of the car.
In recognition of their heroic actions, the NTW Ontario Committee is proud to present Larry Lewis, Larry Wheatley and Dave Brodrecht with the award of valor.
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