Central Texas man awarded Carnegie medal after fiery crash rescue
Allen Sirois, 20, of Salado, who pulled the driver of an overturned concrete truck to safety after a fiery crash on May 26, 2018 near the junction of Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 190/Interstate 14 in Belton, has been awarded a Carnegie Hero Medal.
Sirois was named a Carnegie hero in September.
U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, presented the medal to Sirois last week.
“Allen Sirois embodies the word hero,” Carter said.
“He ran towards danger and didn’t think twice when someone needed his help. Because of his brave actions, a man is alive and able to be with his family.”
Sirois, was then working at a welding supply store in Belton, heard a loud noise and then saw the overturned concrete truck in flames.
He grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran to the truck, but the extinguisher did little to douse the flames in the engine compartment of the truck in whose cab Melvin K. Belcher, 60, was trapped.
He next kicked a small hole in the windshield, but couldn’t gain access to the cab so he climbed onto a platform between the cab and the drum and from there was able to open the passenger door.
“He saw Belcher inside the smoke-filled cab, which flames had breached near the driver’s door and windshield,” the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission said in a press release.
“Sirois reached through the open door and, with difficulty, pulled Belcher partially out of the cab. Another man moved onto the truck and pulled Belcher fully free from the cab.”
Other passersby helped Belcher to the ground and carried him to safety.
Belcher and Sirois both received minor burns.
"Receiving the Carnegie Hero Award is an honor, but the real reward is knowing that Melvin Belcher survived and he is able to see his granddaughter's birthday,” Sirois said.
The Carnegie Medal is awarded to those in the U.S. and Canada who risked their lives “to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.”
More than 10,000 medals have been awarded since the Carnegie Hero Fund was created in 1904.
The award winners also receive financial grants.