In the afternoon of 18 February 1982, Ronald Zimmer, while sanding the highway, was involved in a head-on collision in which a four-wheel-drive vehicle caught fire. Mr. Zimmer ran to the passenger door but was unable to drag the injured driver out. He backed his sand truck away from the burning vehicle, went to the driver's side and pried the door open. Ignoring the obvious danger, Mr. Zimmer then ripped the collapsed and flaming canvas top away with his bare hands and tried to undo the seat belt. Using all his strength he finally managed to pull the driver through the seat belt moments before the vehicle was consumed.