John Skerjanec, Jr., 49, assistant power line foreman, rescued Nellie M. Roberts and Gladys G. Meals, 33 and 53, respectively, while they were in a runaway automobile, Canon City, Colorado, September 24, 1958. While Mrs. Roberts, accompanied by Mrs. Meals, was driving down a winding mountain highway which had a steep downgrade for five miles, the brakes and transmission of the automobile became inoperable and the vehicle steadily gained speed while continuing three miles down the grade. As the automobile passed a pickup truck driven by Skerjanec, the two women waved frantically and screamed for help. Hastily conceiving a plan for halting the runaway sedan, Skerjanec accelerated his truck to 80 miles an hour to overtake and move ahead of the automobile. He then held the truck at a fairly constant speed, allowing the sedan, which was carefully driven by Mrs. Roberts, to overtake him. The front bumper of the automobile then contacted the rear bumper of his truck with only a slight jar. As Mrs. Roberts kept the sedan in steady contact with the truck, Skerjanee gradually eased pressure on the truck’s gas pedal, slowly applied the brakes and, after slowing the vehicles to 40 miles an hour, shifted into low gear to reduce the speed further. He then steered the truck onto a wide section of berm, where both vehicles halted after having been in contact for approximately 4,200 feet.
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