L-29 retiree receives award for bravery

L-29 retiree David Moffatt, r., and Josh Goodine, l., receive awards for bravery June 14 for helping to save teenagers Shannon Scarlett (second from left) and Tessa Claridge (third from left) following a fiery auto accident. Bangor Daily News photo by Dawn Gagnon

Quick action saves teens from fiery crash

DAVID MOFFATT, a retired member of L-29 (Boston), was one of two men to receive an award for heroism June 14 for rescuing three teenage girls trapped in a burning sports car in May 2009 in Baring, Maine. The presentations were made during the 2010 Maine State Police awards ceremony in Augusta.

Moffatt, then 62, and Josh Goodine were traveling in opposite directions on the day of the accident when they came upon a small, two-door convertible that had struck a tree and caught fire. Four occupants, all 16 years old, were trapped inside. The men cut through the roof of the burning vehicle to free Shannon Scarlett and Angelica Underhill from the back seat. Moffatt then turned his attention to Tessa Claridge, who was pinned in the passenger seat by a crumpled dashboard. As the flames and smoke intensified, he cut Claridge’s seat belt, placed his arms under hers, and pulled her from the wreckage. The male driver of the sports car was killed on impact.

“We got away from that car just in time,” said Moffatt, noting that the car quickly became engulfed in flames. Moffatt’s wife, Lois, was also at the scene along with the couple’s 10-year-old grandson. She was able to contact the local fire department, which arrived shortly after the rescue.

Maine state police Lt. Christopher Coleman said, “This was a tragic event [because] one man died. However, because of the selflessness of these two men, three young women are alive today.”

Source: Bangor Daily News