Gregorio M. Ortega rescued Henry M. Juarez from electric shock, Lone Star, Texas, February 3, 1965. While Juarez, 27, ditcher, was sitting on the metal seat of a ditching machine on the bed of a trailer, the machine’s boom broke one of three overhead wires, each of which carriers, 220 volts of electricity. As the broken wire whipped across the face of Juarez and fell to the ground, the boom pushed upward against the other two wires. With his hands on the steel operating levers Juarez received an electric shock of 440 volts and lost consciousness, slumping against the controls. Ortega, 27, ditcher, ran toward the trailer as the current passed through its metal parts and sparked and sputtered at its wheels. Ignoring the warning of another man, Ortega leaped onto a twelve-inch strip of planking along the edge of the trailer bed, which was four feet above the ground. He then jumped into the air and, while both feet were free of contact with the trailer, pushed Juarez out of the operator’s seat, breaking his contact with the current. Juarez fell to the ground as Ortega landed back on the trailer bed alongside the charged machine. He immediately sprang into the air again and released the boom lever before falling to the ground. The boom cleared the wires, halting the flow of current through the trailer. Juarez was hospitalized three weeks for his burns and recovered.
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