Carnegie Medals awarded to 23
for extraordinary acts of heroism
PITTSBURGH, PA, MARCH 1, 2001—In its first award announcement of 2001, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission today named 23 individuals from throughout the United States and Canada as recipients of the CARNEGIE MEDAL. The bronze medal is given to persons who risk their lives to an extraordinary
degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.
The heroes announced today bring to 8,469 the number of persons honored by the Commission since the Pittsburgh-based Fund’s inception in 1904. Commission President Robert W. Off stated that each of the awardees will receive also a grant of $3,500. Throughout the 97 years since the Fund was established by industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, $24.7 million has been given in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance. The awardees are:
|Fallon Richards||Dahlonega, Ga.|
|Stephen Thompson||Fayetteville, N.Y.|
|James R. Seitz||Painted Post, N.Y.|
|Douglas M. Carr||Essex, Ont.|
|Lamont Maxwell||Akron, Ohio|
|Dean E. Young||Anaheim, Calif.|
|Ross Chalmers||Brighton, Ont.|
|Norman Ibbotson||Brighton, Ont.|
|Vincent Castigliola, Jr.||Pascagoula, Miss.|
|Monte S. McManigell||Owaneco, Ill.|
|Scott D. Ames||Melbourne, Fla.|
|Nathan H. Wollenberg||Delphos, Kans.|
|Peter W. Michalko||Elmira, N.Y.|
|Daniel Douville||Laval, Que.|
|Linda S. Robb||Berlin Center, Ohio|
|William W. Crowell||Browns Mills, N.J.|
|John Thomas Jordan||Lake City, Ark.|
|Dustin Daniel Lara||Brea, Calif.|
|Daniel Lara, Jr.||Brea, Calif.|
|Tahir M. Alkenani||Lincoln, Neb.|
|Jeffrey D. Miller||Lockport, N.Y.|
|Kevin R. Caffery||Angola, N.Y.|
|Jerod Shane Wilson||Huntsville, Ala.|
Resumes of the acts follow. To nominate someone for the CARNEGIE MEDAL, write the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, 436 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1101, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, or call 1-800-447-8900 (toll free). Fuller information on the CARNEGIE MEDAL and the history of the CARNEGIE HERO FUND COMMISSION can be found at www.carnegiehero.org
Fallon Richards saved James J. Glass, Sr., from burning, Locust Fork, Alabama, July 6, 1999. Glass, 51, was confined to a hospital bed in the bedroom of one end of his mobile home. Fire broke out in the kitchen, which adjoined that bedroom, and quickly filled the two rooms with dense smoke. Fallon, 12, student, was visiting Glass, who was her grandfather. In the other end of the mobile home when she smelled smoke, Fallon ran to the burning kitchen, then through it to get to Glass’s bedroom. She shouted that the mobile home was on fire then went outside to the back porch and shouted for help. Fallon reentered the mobile home and returned to Glass’s bedroom. She grasped Glass by the legs, pulled him from the bed to the floor, then dragged him from the bedroom to the back door and outside to the porch. Others who were arriving took Glass to safety. Glass inhaled some smoke; he recovered. Fallon, who was asthmatic, was taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and a second-degree burn to her right forearm. She was detained overnight for observation, and she recovered.
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Fayetteville, New York
James R. Seitz
Painted Post, New York
Stephen Thompson and James R. Seitz rescued Pamela Jordan from assault, Addison, New York, May 20, 1999. Abducted earlier from their home in another state by a 19-year-old man, Ms. Jordan, 24, and her young daughter were attempting to escape while in front of her mother’s home. The assailant caught up to them and was striking Ms. Jordan when a woman who saw the assault secured Ms. Jordan’s daughter. That woman then alerted Thompson, 27, and Seitz, 30, teachers, who were approaching the scene in a sport-utility vehicle. Thompson and Seitz stopped at the scene and began to approach the assailant on foot. As they did so, Ms. Jordan broke free of the assailant and entered their vehicle. Producing a knife, the assailant chased after Ms. Jordan and, reaching her in the passenger seat, stabbed her in the thigh. Thompson ran to the passenger side of the vehicle and struggled against the assailant, once knocking him down. The assailant immediately resumed his attack on Ms. Jordan as Seitz, responding to the driver’s side of the vehicle, attempted to fight him off from there. Thompson obtained a plastic bar, which he used to strike the assailant, and Seitz pulled Ms. Jordan out of the vehicle and took her to a car that had stopped at the scene. As the driver of that car took Ms. Jordan to safety, Thompson attempted to flee, but the assailant caught up to him when he stumbled and stabbed him twice in the right shoulder. The assailant then fled in the sport-utility vehicle but was apprehended by police. Thompson and Ms. Jordan required hospital treatment, for their stab wounds, as did Seitz, who had injured an arm in the assault.
74330-8448 / 74329-8449
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Douglas M. Carr
Douglas M. Carr saved Armand L. Gagner from burning, Chatham, Ontario, September 25, 1999. Gagner, 47, was unconscious inside his car after a highway accident in which the car struck the rear of a tandem tractor-trailer and caught fire. The operator of the tractor-trailer, Carr, 55, truck driver, took the rig to a stop off the highway then responded to the rear of the vehicle, where he found that Gagner’s car was attached to the bumper of the rear trailer. Flames that had broken out in the car’s engine area were spreading up and over its windshield and toward its front doors. Carr opened the back door on the driver’s side of the burning vehicle, fully entered the back-seat area, and moved to the passenger side of the car. He reached over the front seat to where Gagner lay and, putting his arms underneath Gagner’s, pulled him over the seat into the back of the car. Carr then backed out of the vehicle with Gagner and dragged him to its rear. Others who were arriving helped to carry Gagner farther away as flames on the car spread rapidly and soon engulfed it. Gagner required hospital treatment for injuries sustained in the accident, and Carr hurt a thumb and his back. Neither man was burned, and both recovered.
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Lamont Maxwell rescued Mary Wade from burning, Akron, Ohio, February 22, 2000. At night, Ms. Wade, 73, was unconscious in the living room of her two-story house after a fire started in the basement and spread to the first floor. At his home next door, Maxwell, 33, delivery driver, was alerted to the fire. He ran to Ms. Wade’s front door and stepped into the house but could not see because of the dense smoke. He exited and returned to his house for a chair, which he then used to break out windows in the living room of the burning house to release some of the smoke. Maxwell went back to the front door, crawled into the living room, and called out to Ms. Wade. Nearly overcome by heat and smoke, he turned and left the house again. Obtaining a wet towel that he wrapped around his head, he returned to the house and re-entered, crawling, as he felt in front of him while calling out Ms. Wade’s name. Maxwell found Ms. Wade on the floor about 10 feet from the door and about that distance from advancing flames in the kitchen. He stood and dragged her toward the front door, then was aided by a neighbor in removing Ms. Wade outside. Ms. Wade required hospitalization for treatment of smoke inhalation and burns. Maxwell suffered slight smoke inhalation but did not require treatment. He recovered.
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Dean E. Young
Dean E. Young rescued Robert E. Elsom from burning, Anaheim, California, January 7, 2000. Elsom, 79, was in his first-floor apartment when fire broke out in its bedroom. Young, 35, maintenance supervisor, who worked for the building, smelled smoke and responded to the scene. He entered the apartment through its unlocked front door to find the unit filled with dense smoke. Shouting to Elsom, who answered him, Young, holding a flashlight, crawled a short distance into the apartment to where he opened some windows to dissipate the smoke. After leaving for air, Young re-entered the apartment, holding a wet towel to his face, but after he had gone about 10 feet, he again had to exit for air. Young entered the apartment a third time and, crawling about 15 feet, found Elsom standing in the kitchen. Flames from the bedroom had by then spread to a hall that adjoined the kitchen. Young stood, grasped Elsom, and walked him to the front door, then outside to safety. Elsom sustained severe burns to his legs and feet and lesser burns to his arms and face.
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Ross Chalmers and Norman Ibbotson saved Rosanne K. Coleman from being struck by a train, Brighton, Ontario, December 30, 1999. Following an accident in which her sport-utility vehicle left the highway, overturned, and came to rest on a railroad track, Ms. Coleman, 26, lay unconscious at the edge of the track, next to the vehicle. Other motorists, including Chalmers, 57, petroleum wholesale marketer, and Ibbotson, 47, business operator, stopped at the scene. After Chalmers and Ibbotson responded to Ms. Coleman, they saw a train approaching at about 50 m.p.h. They immediately grasped Ms. Coleman and pulled her from the track. Chalmers and Ibbotson had moved her about 20 feet away when the train, in emergency braking, arrived and struck Ms. Coleman’s vehicle, scattering debris. The vehicle was propelled forward 50 feet over a course crossing that taken by Chalmers and Ibbotson with Ms. Coleman. Ms. Coleman received medical treatment for injuries sustained in the accident, and she required a lengthy convalescence.
74190-8453 / 74191-8454
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Vincent Castigliola, Jr.
Vincent Castigliola, Jr., saved Jacob H. Powers from drowning, Pensacola, Florida, January 16, 2000. Jacob, 10, was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico with his father when they were caught by a very strong current that took them farther from shore. Tiring after their attempts to return to shore, they called for help, attracting the attention of Castigliola, 50, lawyer, who was walking on the beach. Castigliola immediately entered the water and swam to Jacob and his father, who were then about 150 feet from shore. With Jacob on Castigliola’s back clinging to his shoulders, Castigliola laboriously swam against the current toward shore. He at first aided Jacob’s father as best he could, then, tiring, swam alone with Jacob. En route to shore, Castigliola required periods of rest, during which Jacob treaded water. After several minutes, they reached shore, where Castigliola, cold and exhausted, could not immediately stand. He recovered, as did Jacob. Jacob’s father, meanwhile, had drifted to a sandbar and eventually made it to safety. He was hospitalized for treatment of effects of the ordeal, and he too recovered.
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Monte S. McManigell
Monte S. McManigell rescued Lisa M. Durbin from burning, Pana, Illinois, March 30, 2000. Lisa, 1, and her brother, 4, were left in their babysitter’s house after fire broke out in the living room and filled the house with dense smoke. McManigell, 38, gas utility worker, was on his way to work when he saw the fire. He stopped at the scene, where he learned that the children were inside the house. As flames covered the front of the one-story structure, McManigell responded to the enclosed back porch and entered. Finding the back door locked, he kicked it in, then, despite dense smoke that precluded visibility, he entered the kitchen. McManigell crawled in search of the children but had to return to the back door for air. Another man who had entered the house then shouted that he had found the children. McManigell re-entered the kitchen and found Lisa unconscious on the floor. He picked her up and ran from the house with her, the other man following with her brother. As Lisa was having difficulty breathing, McManigell gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until her breathing returned to normal. Lisa and her brother required hospital treatment for smoke inhalation and minor burns. McManigell had inhaled smoke and was given oxygen at the scene. He recovered.
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Scott D. Ames
Scott D. Ames attempted to rescue Dominic Jackson from suffocation, Palm Bay, Florida, August 26, 1999. Dominic, 3, was in a ground-level apartment after fire broke out in its kitchen and filled the unit with dense smoke. Ames, 31, police officer, responded to the scene, where he learned that Dominic was still inside. Ames attempted to enter the apartment through a bedroom window, but he was repelled by the smoke and heat, as were three other men who were attempting entry. Ames then went to a sliding glass door, which, opening into the apartment’s living room, had already been broken out. He stepped into the living room and, despite the smoke severely limiting his visibility, entered the adjoining bedroom, which he searched without success. Returning to search the living room, Ames found Dominic at the far end of the room, which opened into the burning kitchen. He picked Dominic up and fled the apartment with him. Ames and another officer attempted to revive Dominic, who was then taken to the hospital. He died of smoke inhalation. Ames also was taken to the hospital, for treatment of smoke inhalation, and he recovered.
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Nathan H. Wollenberg
Nathan H. Wollenberg rescued Keith E. Coleman from assault, Delphos, Kansas, February 11, 2000. Having stopped a man driving a pickup truck, at night, for appearing to be intoxicated, Coleman, 30, a deputy sheriff, struggled with the man after he produced a loaded handgun. The struggle took them to the snow-covered ground off the highway and lasted for several minutes, the man maintaining possession of the weapon, which he threatened to use. Passing the scene in his vehicle, Wollenberg, 32, teacher, saw the men struggling. He parked beyond the pickup and returned to the scene on foot, asking Coleman if he needed help. Responding that he did, Coleman directed Wollenberg to retrieve Coleman’s gun from the patrol car and aim it at the assailant. Wollenberg did so, and he radioed for help. Wollenberg approached the assailant, pried his fingers off the gun, and secured the weapon. He then helped Coleman, whose fingers were numbing in the 25-degree temperature, to handcuff the assailant.
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Peter W. Michalko
Elmira, New York
Peter W. Michalko rescued Howard Hitchcock from burning, Elmira, New York, December 5, 1999. At night, Hitchcock, 90, was inside his home after fire erupted in the living room and filled the house with dense smoke. Michalko, 34, on-duty police officer, responded to the scene and learned from neighbors that Hitchcock remained inside the burning house. Finding the front door locked, Michalko responded to the back door, which opened to a small foyer. He entered the house at least twice but was repelled each time by smoke. Holding a wet towel to his face, Michalko re-entered again. Despite smoke limiting his vision, Michalko crossed the kitchen to where he found Hitchcock, unconscious, on the floor. Michalko dragged Hitchcock to the door leading to the foyer, but then he bumped into the door, causing it to close. Michalko felt for the doorknob, re-opened the door, and pulled Hitchcock into the foyer, from which point he received help in removing Hitchcock to the outside. Hitchcock was severely burned; he was hospitalized but died 20 days later. Michalko was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation, and he recovered.
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Daniel Douville saved Cédrik Blanchette and Maxime Desjardins from burning, Laval, Quebec, May 16, 1999. At night, Cédrik, 3, and his brother, Maxime, 8, and cousin, 4, were in bedrooms of a third-floor apartment after fire erupted in the living room. A resident of the apartment below them, Douville, 29, insulation specialist, was alerted and immediately responded to the burning apartment’s back door, which opened to the outside. Douville entered the kitchen and through dense smoke proceeded to Cédrik’s bedroom, which opened just off the burning living room. Finding Cédrik asleep in bed, Douville picked the boy up and, flames issuing over his head, retraced his steps to the kitchen, off which Maxime’s bedroom opened. Douville entered that room and found Maxime standing just inside. Maxime followed Douville, still carrying Cédrik, from the bedroom, then out of the apartment through its back door. Only then learning that the cousin remained inside the apartment, Douville re-entered the kitchen, but worsening conditions thwarted his further rescue efforts. Firefighters arrived shortly to find flames issuing from the back door, and they recovered the cousin’s body. Cédrik received hospital treatment for smoke inhalation, and he recovered. Douville sustained minor burns, and he recovered as well.
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Linda S. Robb
Berlin Center, Ohio
Linda S. Robb rescued Daniel Kemats and others from assault, Lisbon, Ohio, March 23, 2000. Kemats, 24, and about 20 sixth-grade students were in a classroom on the second floor of an elementary school when one of the students, a 12-year-old boy, produced a loaded, nine-millimeter handgun and demanded that everyone lie on the floor. The assailant repeated his demand, and Kemats and the other students complied. Ms. Robb, 51, teacher, was in her classroom across the hall when she was alerted to the situation by the student who had observed it from the hall. Leaving her room to investigate, Ms. Robb stood in the doorway to Kemats’s classroom, where she saw the assailant on the far side of the room with the gun, which was pointed at the ceiling. Ms. Robb spoke calmly to the assailant for a few minutes, then asked him to join her in the hall. Carrying the gun, the assailant approached her, and when he reached her, she hugged him, then disarmed him. They went into the hall, where the assailant reached into his pocket for an extra magazine, which he surrendered to Ms. Robb. The student was taken to the school office, then was apprehended shortly by arriving police.
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William W. Crowell
Browns Mills, New Jersey
William W. Crowell rescued a man from burning, Chatsworth, New Jersey, July 7, 1999. A 41-year-old man lay trapped in the front passenger seat of a sport-utility vehicle that, in a highway accident, had left the roadway, turned onto its passenger side, and caught fire. Traveling on the same highway, Crowell, 52, mechanic, arrived at the scene and saw the vehicle. He stopped, approached the vehicle, and entered it through its rear-door area as flames issued from its front end. Having difficulty breathing in the vehicle’s smoke-filled interior, Crowell exited and obtained a flashlight and fire extinguisher, both of which proved to be ineffective. Crowell re-entered the burning vehicle and handed a pocketknife to the man, who cut his safety belt. By then, flames had spread to the interior of the vehicle, on the dashboard. Crowell grasped the man by the wrists, pulled him from his seat, and dragged him out of the vehicle, through its rear, then took him to the highway shoulder. Crowell returned to the vehicle to look for any other occupants, but the vehicle was engulfed by flames. The man required hospital treatment for his injuries. Crowell inhaled smoke but did not seek medical treatment, and he recovered.
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John Thomas Jordan
Lake City, Arkansas
John Thomas Jordan rescued Kaitlyn A. Hale from burning, Lake City, Arkansas, December 1, 1999. Kaitlyn, 2, was in her crib in a bedroom of her family’s one-story house after fire broke out in the living room. A neighbor, Jordan, 48, retired military specialist, was alerted to the fire and responded to the scene, where he was informed of Kaitlyn’s location. Jordan entered that bedroom through a window that had already been broken out. He crossed the smoke-filled room, which afforded no visibility, and, feeling, found the crib, then found Kaitlyn inside. He picked her up and returned to the window, where he handed Kaitlyn, who was semiconscious, out to her mother. Jordan then exited the burning house. Kaitlyn was treated at the hospital for minor burns and smoke inhalation; she recovered. Jordan required hospital treatment for a laceration to his left forearm that required sutures, and he too recovered.
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Dustin Daniel Lara
Daniel Lara, Jr.
Dustin Daniel Lara and Daniel Lara, Jr., rescued Margaret M. and attempted to rescue Wilber E. Proud from burning, Brea, California, April 8, 2000. Mrs. Proud, 89, and her husband, 95, were in their one-story house after fire broke out in their bedroom before dawn. From his home across the street, Dustin, 17, high school student, saw flames in a window of the Prouds’ house and immediately ran to the scene, reporting the fire by telephone as he did so. He was joined shortly by his father, Lara, 48, software engineer, who, clad in only night clothes, had responded from bed. Dustin kicked in the locked front door, and he and Lara entered the burning house, despite intense heat inside and dense smoke that restricted visibility. After crawling a short distance into the living room, Dustin had difficulty breathing. He returned home for a wet towel, which he and his father then used to aid their breathing, then he left the house again, for a flashlight, and re-entered again and rejoined his father. Lara had found Mrs. Proud lying on the floor in the doorway leading from the living room to a hall and the burning bedroom. With flames advancing from the bedroom, he secured a hold of Mrs. Proud, then inched his way back to the front door, pulling her. After Mrs. Proud was removed from the house, Dustin and Lara returned inside for Proud. Of the understanding that Proud was in the bathroom, Dustin crawled to the hall and made his way to the bathroom, but Proud was not there. Dustin crawled to Lara, who had farther penetrated the living room, then in deteriorating conditions they exited the house as firefighters were arriving. Firefighters found Proud in the opposite end of the house. He and Mrs. Proud were hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation; Mrs. Proud recovered, but Proud died of complications 10 days later. Dustin had difficulty that day clearing his lungs of smoke, and Lara sustained minor smoke inhalation and cuts to his feet. They recovered.
74384-8464 / 74549-8465
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Tahir M. Alkenani
Tahir M. Alkenani saved Kenneth DeVante, Jr., from burning, Lincoln, Nebraska, February 21, 2000. Kenneth, 3, was in the living room of a second-floor apartment after fire erupted in the adjoining bedroom late at night and filled the living room with dense smoke. Asleep in an apartment of a nearby building, Alkenani, 30, laborer, was alerted to the fire, and he responded to the scene clad in only night clothes. Alkenani climbed to the second-floor entrance of the burning apartment and entered the living room. Because of the smoke, which precluded visibility, he lay on the floor and crawled, groping for a couch on which he had been told Kenneth was sleeping. Alkenani found the couch, then felt Kenneth, who was lying nearby on the floor, unconscious. Alkenani picked Kenneth up and ran from the apartment, then outside to safety. He returned to the burning apartment for Kenneth’s sister, but the smoke drove him out. A police officer arrived, and she and Alkenani then attempted a search of the apartment, but they too were unsuccessful in the smoke. Firefighters arrived shortly and found the sister, who died later that day of smoke inhalation. Kenneth was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.
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Jeffrey D. Miller
Lockport, New York
Kevin R. Caffery
Angola, New York
Jeffrey D. Miller and Kevin R. Caffery saved a woman from drowning, Niagara Falls, New York, August 25, 1999. In a suicide attempt, a woman entered the Niagara River above Niagara Falls and was seen in the rapids off Goat Island at a point about 500 feet from the brink of Horseshoe Falls. Although she had been spotted by Miller, 39, deputy sheriff, and other helicopter crew members of the aviation unit of that county’s sheriff’s department, the unit was not equipped for water rescue. The aviation unit of a neighboring county’s sheriff’s department deployed one of its helicopters, which was equipped with pontoons. Piloting that craft, Caffery, 52, deputy sheriff, flew to the scene in waning daylight, accompanied by Miller. Using a searchlight, they found the woman sitting atop a submerged rock and holding to a branch of a tree growing out of an exposed mound about 100 feet off the island. Caffery lowered the helicopter to water level just downstream of the woman, holding the craft by one pontoon against a submerged rock and working to stabilize it further against the extremely swift current by opening the throttle to full power. Untethered to the craft, lest his movement upset it, Miller stepped from the helicopter into waist-deep water and waded through the rapids toward the woman. Stopping short of her at the edge of what appeared to be deeper water, Miller gestured to the woman to release her hold of the tree and be taken by the current to him. The woman did so, and Miller caught her. He waded back to the helicopter, pulling the woman, then got her aboard it. After Miller reboarded the craft, Caffery lifted off and flew to safety. The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment.
74504-8467 / 74724-8468
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Jerod Shane Wilson
Jerod Shane Wilson helped to rescue Kara L. Roberts from a runaway vehicle, Hayden, Alabama, December 13, 1999. Ms. Roberts, 28, was driving a sport-utility vehicle, which weighed about 4,000 pounds, on an interstate highway when she lost consciousness. Traveling at about the speed limit, the vehicle entered the median and repeatedly struck a concrete barrier as it continued forward. Driving on the same highway, Wilson, 30, college student, saw the vehicle’s errant course, then saw Ms. Roberts apparently unconscious inside. He pulled his 2,000-pound compact car in front of the runaway and slowed, allowing the sport-utility vehicle to strike the rear of the car. The runaway did not stop but struck Wilson’s car repeatedly, then veered across the highway with it. Wilson’s car left the highway and struck the guide rail along the shoulder, at about which time the runaway vehicle struck his car again. The vehicles then turned and, slowed somewhat, continued forward on the shoulder. As Wilson prepared to let the runaway strike his car again, a man driving a loaded delivery truck arrived and positioned his vehicle in front of the runaway. He took both vehicles to a stop on the shoulder, then responded to Ms. Roberts’s vehicle, gained entry, and turned off the engine. Ms. Roberts was taken to the hospital but was uninjured. Wilson, whose vehicle was badly damaged, also was taken to the hospital, as he suffered neck, hip, and back pain. He had difficulty walking for more than a month, but he recovered.
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