PORTLAND, Ore. - A Gloversville man is receiving widespread publicity after pulling a woman from a car in an accident in Portland, Ore.
The accident sent a 170-foot steel beam across a bridge, setting two vehicles ablaze.
Mark Cole, a truck driver who graduated from Gloversville High School in 2003, said the accident occurred Tuesday on the Marquam Bridge in Portland.
Cole and another driver were transporting a concrete girder to a construction site. Cole was in the back of the vehicle in a steering car, which is used to help balance the load, Cole said,
According to Cole, the rig was tipped to its left side after weight transferred over to that side.
According to news reports, Dana Buice was driving in her car when the cargo on the rig landed on the car, crushing it with her in the driver's seat. She was pinned inside, and the car caught fire.
"As soon as I got out, I saw some flames," Cole said.
Climbing out of the cab, Cole said he ran over to Buice's car, pulled her out and led her away to safety. The other driver, Cole said, was uninjured.
According to Cole, the car had been crushed on the passenger side to the point where there was only a gap between the driver's-side door and the roof. But the gap allowed Cole to pull Buice out, perform first aid and wait for police to respond.
Cole said both vehicles burst into flames after the accident.
Cole described the accident as a freak accident.
Oregon Department of Transportation officials had to close the bridge while the accident was cleared, according to news reports.
Cole was humble about the incident.
"It was just what needed to be done," he said.
Edward Cole, Mark's father, said he was astonished to hear about what happened.
"I couldn't believe all the articles and the picture and the videos," Edward Cole said.
According to Edward Cole, he had heard about what had happened after a text from his son's girlfriend asked if he had talked to his son. After receiving texts and calls, he got confirmation Mark was alive and well after the accident.
Edward Cole said he is extremely proud of his son.
"He saved another person's life," he said.
Arthur Cleveland can be reached at email@example.com.