cityhall3.jpgSan Francisco Mayor Ed Lee today honored three men and a police officer who helped save a man from a burning vehicle in the city’s South of Market neighborhood last week.

Lee lauded the actions of Anwar Ghanem, Leo Volobrynskyy, Justin Taylor and police Officer Daniel Solorzano, who were the first people on the scene when a vehicle traveling east on Folsom Street near 12th Street went onto the center divide and struck a light pole at about 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 21.

Upon impact with the pole, the car caught fire with the driver still inside it and unconscious, police said.

Ghanem, Volobrynskyy and Taylor witnessed the crash and tried to get the man out of the car, and Solorzano arrived shortly afterward and used his knife to cut through the seatbelt and rescue the man from the car.

Firefighters arrived minutes later and extinguished the burning car.

Lee presented a Good Samaritan award at City Hall today to each of the people who helped save the man.

The award thanked each man for “risking your life to save another. Our communities and city are tremendously grateful for your selflessness when faced with a difficult situation, and your courageous efforts truly represent San Francisco values at their best.”

The 36-year-old driver, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with injuries that are not considered life-threatening. He was allegedly driving under the influence and was arrested at the hospital.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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