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Ralph Gilles, hero

by David Zatz on

FCA’s global head of design, and one of the two executives most known for reaching out to enthusiasts, was the hero after a crash in Addison Township, Michigan.

Early this morning, a man drove his Ford Edge into a Ford Fiesta in the opposing-traffic lane on Lakeville Road.  Ralph Gilles and his wife Doris were driving their Jeep Wrangler when they saw the freshly crashed vehicles. While Doris Gilles called 911, Ralph Gilles and the driver of the Edge tried prying open the door of the stricken car. While Gilles was moving his Wrangler out of the way of traffic, he saw a Buick LaSabre hit the Fiesta, which slid into the Edge and apparently started a fire. Gilles pushed the Edge away from the other vehicles with his Wrangler, so the fire would not spread to the car with trapped occupants.

Gilles later told the Oxford Leader, “The only thing I can remember thinking (is) I’ve got a Jeep, it’s got a bumper on it, I think I can do this. All I could think about were the two people still inside the other car. … had I been in my (Dodge) Challenger, I wouldn’t have had the traction to do it. … I put it in four-wheel drive and it worked perfectly.”

Read the full story, with more from Ralph Gilles, at the Oxford Leader.

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