Ralph GillesEnlarge Photo
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' lead designer Ralph Gilles is being praised for his actions after a fatal car crash in Michigan last week.
According to authorities, Gilles used his Jeep Wrangler to push a burning Ford Edge SUV away from a three-car crash that killed one woman and injured the man she was riding with Feb. 18. The woman, whose name was Misty Considine according to Oakland County Sheriff's Deputy Jerry Yaldoo, was a passenger in a 2013 Ford Fiesta when it was struck head-on by a 2013 Ford Edge that had drifted into the other lane. The crash was first reported by The Oxford (Michigan) Leader.
The Edge was driven by a 36-year-old man who admitted drinking that night, Yaldoo said. The man's name has not released. Yaldoo said the man had minor injuries and was treated at the scene. Charges for the driver are pending further investigation, Yaldoo said.
Gilles was the first to arrive at the scene and attempted to extricate the struck driver and passenger of the Fiesta when a 1997 Buick LaSabre struck the Fiesta. The Fiesta hit the Edge again and the SUV caught fire, Yaldoo said.
According to the sheriff's office, Gilles used his Wrangler to push the burning Edge away from the crash until emergency responders arrived.
"He did what a lot of people wouldn’t have done, pushing that vehicle out of the way and putting himself into harm’s way," Yaldoo said.
Considine was transported to a hospital where she died, according to Yaldoo. The man she was riding with was also injured and treated at a local hospital. Yaldoo said that man is still hospitalized, but is in stable condition. The driver of the LaSabre sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene, Yaldoo said.
Addison Township Fire Chief Jerry Morawski told the Leader that Gilles' actions may have prevented more injuries.
“That guy did a pretty heroic thing,” Morawski told the newspaper last week. “I think the guy did a great job...(If he hadn’t taken action) it could have been worse.”
In an Instagram post Sunday, Gilles deflected praise.
"I am NOT a hero, I think most people would have tried to help somehow," he wrote. "It made us appreciate the true heroes. The first responders, Firemen/women, EMS and Police who deal with this stuff everyday..."
Gilles declined further comment through an FCA spokeswoman.
Note to readers: This story has been updated with comments from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.