Carnegie Hero Odis Lee Jones, Jr., 84, died Sunday, May 28, 2023, in Okolona, Mississippi.
Jones, then a 27-year-old conveyer operator living in Shannon, Mississippi, received the Carnegie Medal after saving a 3-year-old girl from a burning vehicle in his hometown, on Dec. 9, 1966. The truck she was in with her family blew a tire, turned onto its side, and skidded along the highway. One of the truck’s fuel tanks burst and escaping fuel caught fire on the roadway. Flames entered the cab and despite flames 15 feet high on the pavement, Jones ran to the truck, and after he unsuccessfully tried to kick in the windshield, obtained a bumper jack from his own vehicle and opened a hole in the windshield of the truck. After trying to remove the father from the truck to no avail, the young girl’s hand appeared through the opening and Jones pulled her out to safety. He immediately put out the fire that had spread to her clothes.
Jones was known to family and friends as “Happy.”