Global head of design for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Ralph Gilles, is being called a hero.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Gilles was first on the scene after a Ford Edge crossed the center line and collided into a Ford Fiesta. Gilles, who was driving his Jeep Wrangler, stopped to help while his wife called 911. Along with the driver of the Ford Edge, Gilles tried to help the couple in the Ford Fiesta, but none of the doors would open. So Gilles decided to move his Wrangler out of the way, and as he was doing so, a Buick LeSabre hit the Fiesta, which then slid into the Edge.
With tall flames coming from the Ford Edge’s engine compartment, Gilles decided to use his Jeep to push the Edge to the opposite shoulder, away from the other two vehicles. “I still have no idea where that (thought) came from,” Gilles told The Oxford Leader. “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.”
Unfortunately one of the passengers in the Ford Fiesta died at a local hospital following the accident. She was riding as a passenger in the Fiesta. Alcohol appears to be a factor in the incident, with the 36-year-old in the Ford Edge admitting to drinking.
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.