Paul George Loiseau helped to save Georgianna Festa and assisted in an attempt to save Carmine J. Festa from burning, Worcester, Massachusetts, April 16, 1968. Mrs. Festa, 67,was in a four-door sedan being driven by her husband, 67, when it and a gasoline truck traveling in the opposite direction passed beneath an overpass still under construction. Several steel girders on the overpass broke loose at one end and fell to the street. The first two fell on the truck and caused its fuel tank to ignite. One girder fell on the sedan, pinning Festa against the steering wheel and causing his wife to sustain chest injuries. Loiseau, 24, truck driver, and six other men ran to the sedan to try to remove the occupants lest they be fatally burned if the gasoline truck exploded. One man forced open the right front door, which was on the opposite side of the automobile from flames rising 12 feet above the pavement at the truck. Two men pulled Mrs. Festa out of the sedan. Loiseau and three others then carried her to a point of safety, returning to the automobile within seconds. Loiseau climbed partially into the front seat and another man got into the rear compartment to try to free Festa. The others attempted to give assistance. There then was a muffled thud at the gasoline truck; and flames shot out, striking the side of the sedan opposite the men. At a shout of warning about the girders, all of the men started to leave. Another girder fell, resulting in varying degrees of injury to each of the seven men. Loiseau was hospitalized for fractured vertebrae which resulted in a partial disability. Festa died, but his wife recovered.
50168 – 561850168-5618