Andrew Parent and Roger Combs

Andrew Parent
Roger Combs

A 72-year-old man was driving a pickup truck on June 21, 2021, when it left a Westmoreland, New York, highway, struck a utility pole, overturned onto its roof, and came to rest with the top portion of the utility pole on its undercarriage. A fire broke out engulfing the truck’s undercarriage and a downed electrical wire along the grass shoulder sparked and smoldered. A passing motorist in a tow truck, Andrew Parent, 65, business owner, found Jack H. Pylman, whose upper body was severely burned, screaming for help at the driver’s window, where his lower body was pinned inside the truck. The fire was intense. Parent stepped over the wire and approached the truck but, despite his best efforts, was unable to pull Pylman free or put out the fire with extinguishers. As Parent called for help from bystanders, Roger Combs, a 74-year-old retired information technology specialist, approached the truck despite popping sounds. He stepped over the wire, and, with Parent and Combs each grasping Pylman’s arms and hands, they pulled Pylman free and dragged him about 15 feet. Arriving medics tended to Pylman, who was taken to a hospital. He died one week later.

91803-10298 / 91967-10299

Photo by Roger Combs