How One FCA Exec Used His Jeep to Push Away a Burning Car

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Global head of design for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Ralph Gilles, is being called a hero.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, Gilles was first on the scene after a Ford Edge crossed the center line and collided into a Ford Fiesta. Gilles, who was driving his Jeep Wrangler, stopped to help while his wife called 911. Along with the driver of the Ford Edge, Gilles tried to help the couple in the Ford Fiesta, but none of the doors would open. So Gilles decided to move his Wrangler out of the way, and as he was doing so, a Buick LeSabre hit the Fiesta, which then slid into the Edge.

SEE ALSO: Top 5 Coolest Car Designs Ever, According to FCA’s Ralph Gilles

With tall flames coming from the Ford Edge’s engine compartment, Gilles decided to use his Jeep to push the Edge to the opposite shoulder, away from the other two vehicles. “I still have no idea where that (thought) came from,” Gilles 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.”

Unfortunately one of the passengers in the Ford Fiesta died at a local hospital following the accident. She was riding as a passenger in the Fiesta. Alcohol appears to be a factor in the incident, with the 36-year-old in the Ford Edge admitting to drinking.

[Source: The Oxford Leader]

Discuss this story on our Jeep Forum

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

More by Jason Siu

Join the conversation
  • Frank Zimmermann Frank Zimmermann on Feb 26, 2018

    Thanks for stepping up - Yep theirs something about a jeep, you can just do stuff with it ! I get asked from time to time to pull vehicles out of trouble. people think Hey he's got a jeep lets ask !

  • K03sport K03sport on Feb 26, 2018

    good stuff ralph, glad you were not hurt...story shows that more people do not pay attention when driving (talking about the buick)...and driving too fast for conditions (dark road, snow covered)...winter tires or not, it still doesn't look like the best conditions to even be driving the actual speed's to hoping the edge driver feels the pinch in making a poor decision that resulted in the loss of life; not going to be pretty but all it takes is ONE poor decision and your world, or someone else's is turned upside down and changed forever...situation should have never happened if the edge driver was more responsible.