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Eldredge Presented Chairman’s Life Saving Award For Fiery Car Wreck Rescue

by on July 17, 2017
At right, Shawn Eldredge, network apprentice 3rd Year, receives the Chairman’s Life Saving Award from Paul Chodak, executive vice president – AEP Utilities. Eldredge was presented the award before a gathering of his co-workers at PSO’s Mid Metro Service Center in Tulsa.

(Story by Ed Bettinger)

Shawn Eldredge, network apprentice 3rd Year for Public Service Company of Oklahoma, received the Chairman’s Life Saving Award July 10 from [Paul Chodak], executive vice president – AEP Utilities. Eldredge was recognized for his part in the rescue of several people from two burning vehicles December 22.

After completing his PSO duties that da,y Eldredge was working in the garage at his rural home west of Sapulpa, Okla. It was early evening and he expected his wife home at any moment.

Out on Highway 33, a two-lane road about a quarter-mile distant, the scattered evening traffic sailed by at a steady pace.

The tranquil scene was abruptly shattered by the sounds of crunching metal and squealing brakes.

Eldredge bolted from his garage and ran to the highway, fearing that his wife might’ve been involved in a car wreck just as she was getting home.

Reaching the road he found not his wife’s vehicle, but a three-car accident. One vehicle was lying on its side and another was erupting in flames. Worse, both of those vehicles were still occupied.

Eldredge ran to the burning car where a Creek County sheriff’s deputy, who’d happened upon the scene, was trying to remove the driver. Learning that the deputy did not have a fire extinguisher in his car, Eldredge sprinted to his home, grabbed two of his own extinguishers, and dashed back. As he sprayed one extinguisher to knock down the fire, the deputy and another passerby smashed out the car’s windshield and got the driver to safety.

Meanwhile, the car that had been knocked onto its side burst into flames. Eldredge, the deputy and others on the scene rushed to remove its occupants. As Eldredge expended the last of his fire extinguishers’ contents, the group of helpers pulled everyone in the car to safety.

State troopers said witnesses reported seeing a car swerving as it headed west and suddenly hit another car, which rolled over several times. There were four people inside.

The original car kept going until it hit an SUV with five people inside.

A number of people were hospitalized for their injuries. Several small children were in the vehicles.

Eldredge said that neither he nor any of the others who helped at the scene would consider themselves to be “heroes”.

“I’m pretty confident that about anybody would’ve done the same thing. It’s just something you do,” he said. “There were quite a few people just doing what they could do to help.”

Eldredge, who is a 16-year employee, served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps before coming to work at PSO. He and his wife, Allison, are the parents of a young daughter.

From → News From AEP

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