A Hero Among Us


A local man says a stranger saved the life of the only survivor of a horrific traffic crash near Max yesterday.
Three people died in the head-on collision on Highway 23.

But Rick Hartleib says a fourth fatality was avoided through the heroic actions of a man who broke out the back window of the burning SUV and pulled the little girl to safety.
Hartleib says he had just arrived on the scene when the man, who he believes to be an oilfield worker based on his clothing, was plunging into the rapidly-burning SUV.
Meanwhile, others were trying to extinguish the raging fire – but didn’t have the equipment to do it.

(Rick Hartleib) “Very little fire extinguishers. A couple of semis stopped and they had a bit bigger ones but they were still nothing compared to the fire that was in the engine bay of that vehicle. That gentleman, still I don’t know who he was, he went into the back of that vehicle and pulled that little girl out.”
(Jim Olson) “Saved her life?”
(Rick Hartleib) “Saved her life, yup.”

Two people in the SUV with the girl – a 28-year-old man and 27-year-old woman from Parshall – died in the crash and fire.
The driver of the pickup that the Highway Patrol says caused the crash – a 78-year-old man from Douglas – was also killed.

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