Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Global Head of Design, Ralph Gilles, is a hero after rescuing victims of a head-on crash in Addison Township, Mich.
The scene of the accident occurred between an inebriated, unnamed 36-year old Ford Edge driver, who skid out of control and crossed a center line before hitting 57-year-old Ford Fiesta driver Misty Considine, who later died at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital. A third vehicle, a Buick LeSabre, hit the Fiesta, which hit the Edge and set it ablaze.
At that point, Gilles hit the accelerator and pushed the Edge to the side of the road, preventing it from setting the other vehicles on fire.
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A long and sad night a week ago I will never forget. By now many of you have read the story. We were first on the scene. I am NOT a hero, I think most people would have tried to help somehow. Understanding cars and their limitations may have played a factor sure. What ultimately turned out to be a 2 hour ordeal for us as we filled out Police reports, gave us a unique view of the whole process. It made us appreciate the true heroes. The first responders, Firemen/women, EMS and Police who deal with this stuff everyday day. It also made Doris and I realize how life can change in moments. Had I been standing in between the two crashed cars as I was just moments prior to the third car arriving. I likely would be part of history. Lets all drive heads up all the time. My deepest condolences to the family of the woman who sadly passed away at the hospital.
In statements made to the Oxford Leader, Gilles explained his thought process at the time.
?We were the first (ones) on the scene,? said Gilles. ?It looked like it (had) just happened based on the steam and the fact that the gentleman (driving the Edge) was clearly just getting out of his car.?
?I still have no idea where that (thought) came from,? he added. ?The only thing I can remember thinking (is) I?ve got a Jeep, it?s got a bumper on it, I think I can do this. All I could think about were the two people still inside the other car.?
Cheers to an automotive hero, literally and figuratively.