Donald F. Jette died helping to save James D. Walsh from suffocation Hampton, New Hampshire, August 20, 1962. Walsh, 27, power shovel operator, was overcome by hydrogen sulfide gas while working in an excavation 14 feet square and 17 feet deep. Jette, 29, laborer, John Almeida and the contractor in charge of the project from outside the pit saw Walsh collapse. Jette immediately descended a ladder into the excavation and tied one end of a rope around Walsh. As Almeida also reached the bottom of the ladder, Jette fell unconscious on top of Walsh. Almeida started to leave the pit but then also collapsed. Meanwhile the contractor had lowered one end of another rope. John W. Durgin III, who had arrived at the excavation in time to see Jette and then Almeida collapse, moved to the head of the ladder. Although the contractor tried to restrain him, Durgin descended into the pit. He tied the end of the second rope around the waist of Almeida and then collapsed. Others removed Walsh and Almeida by means of the ropes tied about them. Firemen arrived soon afterward and one man entered the pit wearing a mask and with a rope tied about him. He secured a rope to Durgin and then to Jette each of whom was lifted from the excavation. The fireman ascended the ladder. Walsh and Almeida responded to artificial respiration recovered, but neither Jette nor Durgin could be revived.
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