Ralph Gilles was the first person on the scene and pushed away a vehicle engulfed in flames with his Wrangler
Ralph Gilles, the charismatic design boss at Chrysler responsible for the 300's iconic sheet metal, is being lauded as a hero after he used his Jeep Wrangler to help save a man's life. Gilles and his wife were returning home from an event when they witnessed the aftermath of a collision caused by an impaired driver in a Ford Edge who veered into the opposing lane and collided with a Fiesta in Addison Township, MI, reports Oxford Leader (via Jalopnik). Gilles then sprung to action.
Gilles and the driver of the Edge, the latter jailed for a short time before being released pending investigation, attempted to remove the occupants of the Fiesta, but its doors were jammed. "We were the first (ones) on the scene," Gilles told a reporter. "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." As Gilles went to move his Wrangler off the road and his wife, Doris, called 9-1-1, the Fiesta was struck again by someone at the wheel of a Buick LeSabre who didn't see the stationary cars on the road.
That collision pushed the Fiesta and its occupants back into the Edge and caused the Ford crossover to catch fire. Gilles then used his Wrangler to push the Edge away from the Fiesta. "I still have no idea where that (thought) came from. 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," Gilles said. "I figured the fire department would take a while to get there ... at that time of day. I had to do something fast." Addison Fire Chief Jerry Morawski praised Gilles for his actions.
"That guy did a pretty heroic thing," Morawski said. "I think the guy did a great job . . . (If he hadn't taken action,) it could have been worse." Unfortunately, the series of events resulted in the death of one occupant in the Fiesta, Misty Considine, 57, of Goodrich. Her husband, who was driving the Fiesta, survived partially due to Gilles quick actions in moving the fiery Edge away from the subcompact.