OTTAWA -- A New Brunswick woman who battled a concussion and blazing fuel to pull two passengers from her submerged car after it was rammed by a tanker truck has been awarded Canada's highest medal for bravery, the Governor General's office has announced.
Mrs. Anna Lang, of Hampton, N.B., will be presented the Cross of Valour for displaying 'selfless courage to a very high degree,' the Governor General's office said Friday. Only 12 Crosses of Valour have been awarded since decorations for bravery were initiated 10 years ago.
The tanker rammed Mrs. Lang's car on a bridge, knocking it through a railing and into a river. The tanker followed, exploded and scattered burning fuel across the river surface.
Despite suffering a concussion, Mrs. Lang managed to swim to shore, remove her clothing, swim back through the flames to her sinking automobile and pull passenger Mrs. Lana Walsh and her four-year-old son Jaye toward shore. Mrs. Lang suffered serious burns during the resuce.
Two 20-year-old men, Jackie Chaisson, of Calgary, Alta., and Erik Sparks, of Quispamsis, N.B., met the victims in the water and helped them to shore. Both men will be awarded the Star of Courage -- Canada's second-highest bravery award.
Four other people will be also be awarded Stars of Courage:
-- Ron Doxtater and his son Mark, of Ottawa, who rescued two men whose canoe had overturned in the cold November waters of the St. Lawrence River near Morrisburg, Ont. in November, 1980.
-- Lieutenant Michael J. Maxwell, who tried to pull a fellow member of the armed forces from the path of an onrushing train during a canoe portage in Algonquin Park in July, 1980. Both were struck by the train. Maxwell suffered severe injuries and the other soldier died.
-- Dale Schive, of Edmonton, Alberta, who fought flames and acrid smoke to pull a seven-year-old girl from a burning house in August 1979.
Six other Canadians will be awarded the Medal of Bravery - including Darlene Doskas, 13, her brother Kenny, 11, and Rolland Picard, 15, of Verdun, Que., who in January, 1980, rescued a five-year-old friend who had falled through the thin ice covering the St. Lawrence River.
The awards will be presented by Governor General Edward Schreyer at a time and place to be announced later.