Roadside inferno 火海救援
文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2010-03-24 01:13 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

Looks like a brush fire(灌木丛火灾), Kim Cooper thought as she spotted1 an orange glow ahead on Interstate 75. It was near dusk(黄昏) , and she and her husband, Steve, were trucking through northern Kentucky hauling(搬运,牵引) auto2 parts from Louisville to Detroit for a freight(货运) company. Steve, 59, was fast asleep in the truck's living quarters as Kim, 52, drove up to the scene. That's when she saw it was much worse than a brush fire.

"Steve, wake up!" she shouted. "There's a truck on fire!" A big rig had tumbled down(破败) an embankment(路堤) , and flames were crawling across its cab. Kim yanked(猛拉) their truck to the side of the road, and Steve pulled on(戴,穿) his clothes. Then he scrambled3 down the slope.

Inside the burning truck, Ronnie Sanders, 38, was fighting for his life. He'd been running a heavy load of tractors and forklifts(铲车) from Georgia to Indianapolis when a Grand Caravan4 in front of him stopped suddenly in traffic on the icy road. As Ronnie bore down, he could see children in the backseat. The truck's bulk(体积,容量) would probably protect him from the worst of the impact, but the momentum5 of 23 tons would likely crush everyone inside the van.

"In Kentucky, the hills are steep, but at that moment, I didn't think about it," he says of that evening last November. "I figured instead of killing6 other people, I'd just put the truck in the ditch(沟渠,壕沟) ." He jerked(猛拉,痉挛) the wheel to the right, somehow keeping the truck upright as it plowed7 60 feet down the embankment. At the bottom, rocks pierced a fuel tank, which ignited(点燃,燃烧) . A tree branch smashed through the windshield(挡风玻璃) and knocked Ronnie unconscious. He came to a couple of minutes later to find the cab in flames and his legs on fire.

Ronnie yelled for help as he struggled to escape. But the cab was smashed in, and try as he might, he couldn't untangle(清理,整顿) himself from his seat belt.

As Steve bolted down the slope, he could hear Ronnie's cries ahead. Then a thundering sound erupted behind him.

A Ford8 Taurus, which had lost control in the melee9(混战,格斗) above, had skidded10 off the highway and was now barreling down the slope directly at him. With no time to dive out of the way, he leaped upward and sailed over the car's hood11.

The Taurus came to a halt close to the truck. Kim was already scrambling12 toward the car. Its passengers appeared shaken but unharmed as she helped maneuver13(演习,调遣) the car away from the burning truck. Meanwhile, Steve dashed to Ronnie, who was dangling14 headfirst from the passenger door. Ronnie had used his pocketknife to cut himself free from the driver's-side seat belt only to get his boot ensnared(诱入陷阱) in another one. Steve climbed into the burning cab to free him.

"All that was going through my mind was, My God, I do not want to be here," Steve recalls. "It was so hot, I could hardly stand it."

He tried three times to pull Ronnie out before finally freeing him. But Ronnie's legs were still burning, so Steve laid him on the ground, ripped off his own shirt, and beat the flames with it. He'd managed to drag him about 20 yards when one of the truck's 150-gallon fuel tanks exploded.

"It was like a cannon15(大炮) blast," says Steve. "The percussive16(敲击的,冲击的) force hurt my chest. It just picked me up and blew me back." Fortunately, the explosion was aimed skyward.

Steve got up and peeled off(剥去,脱掉) what was left of Ronnie's smoldering17(闷烧,阴燃) jeans and held his hand while they waited for the ambulance, as Kim raced up and down the slope, grabbing wet towels and a blanket.

Both Steve and Ronnie paid a price for risking their lives for strangers. Ronnie spent two months in the hospital and received skin grafts18(植皮手术) on both of his legs. He now wears compression garments(服装,衣着) for his scars and gets physical therapy twice a week. "If Steve hadn't done what he did, I probably would have been toast(烘,烤) ," he says. Steve suffered smoke inhalation and minor19 burns, and shrapnel(弹片) from the explosion broke a tooth.

In February, the Coopers received a Hero of the Highway award from the Open Road Foundation for rescuing an injured driver. Steve insists Ronnie is the real hero: "If he hadn't gone into the ditch, he would have hit that van. It was his decision to drive off the road."

"I feel pretty good about it," says Ronnie. "A lot of people could have been hurt."


1 spotted 7FEyj     
  • The milkman selected the spotted cows,from among a herd of two hundred.牛奶商从一群200头牛中选出有斑点的牛。
  • Sam's shop stocks short spotted socks.山姆的商店屯积了有斑点的短袜。
2 auto ZOnyW     
  • Don't park your auto here.别把你的汽车停在这儿。
  • The auto industry has brought many people to Detroit.汽车工业把许多人吸引到了底特律。
3 scrambled 2e4a1c533c25a82f8e80e696225a73f2     
v.快速爬行( scramble的过去式和过去分词 );攀登;争夺;(军事飞机)紧急起飞
  • Each scrambled for the football at the football ground. 足球场上你争我夺。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • He scrambled awkwardly to his feet. 他笨拙地爬起身来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 caravan OrVzu     
  • The community adviser gave us a caravan to live in.社区顾问给了我们一间活动住房栖身。
  • Geoff connected the caravan to the car.杰弗把旅行用的住屋拖车挂在汽车上。
5 momentum DjZy8     
  • We exploit the energy and momentum conservation laws in this way.我们就是这样利用能量和动量守恒定律的。
  • The law of momentum conservation could supplant Newton's third law.动量守恒定律可以取代牛顿第三定律。
6 killing kpBziQ     
  • Investors are set to make a killing from the sell-off.投资者准备清仓以便大赚一笔。
  • Last week my brother made a killing on Wall Street.上个周我兄弟在华尔街赚了一大笔。
7 plowed 2de363079730210858ae5f5b15e702cf     
v.耕( plow的过去式和过去分词 );犁耕;费力穿过
  • They plowed nearly 100,000 acres of virgin moorland. 他们犁了将近10万英亩未开垦的高沼地。 来自辞典例句
  • He plowed the land and then sowed the seeds. 他先翻土,然后播种。 来自辞典例句
8 Ford KiIxx     
  • They were guarding the bridge,so we forded the river.他们驻守在那座桥上,所以我们只能涉水过河。
  • If you decide to ford a stream,be extremely careful.如果已决定要涉过小溪,必须极度小心。
9 melee hCAxc     
  • There was a scuffle and I lost my hat in the melee.因发生一场斗殴,我的帽子也在混乱中丢失了。
  • In the melee that followed they trampled their mother a couple of times.他们打在一团,七手八脚的又踩了他们的母亲几下。
10 skidded 35afc105bfaf20eaf5c5245a2e8d22d8     
v.(通常指车辆) 侧滑( skid的过去式和过去分词 );打滑;滑行;(住在)贫民区
  • The car skidded and hit a lamp post. 那辆汽车打滑撞上了路灯杆。
  • The car skidded and overturned. 汽车打滑翻倒了。
11 hood ddwzJ     
  • She is wearing a red cloak with a hood.她穿着一件红色带兜帽的披风。
  • The car hood was dented in.汽车的发动机罩已凹了进去。
12 scrambling cfea7454c3a8813b07de2178a1025138     
v.快速爬行( scramble的现在分词 );攀登;争夺;(军事飞机)紧急起飞
  • Scrambling up her hair, she darted out of the house. 她匆忙扎起头发,冲出房去。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • She is scrambling eggs. 她正在炒蛋。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 maneuver Q7szu     
  • All the fighters landed safely on the airport after the military maneuver.在军事演习后,所有战斗机都安全降落在机场上。
  • I did get her attention with this maneuver.我用这个策略确实引起了她的注意。
14 dangling 4930128e58930768b1c1c75026ebc649     
悬吊着( dangle的现在分词 ); 摆动不定; 用某事物诱惑…; 吊胃口
  • The tooth hung dangling by the bedpost, now. 结果,那颗牙就晃来晃去吊在床柱上了。
  • The children sat on the high wall,their legs dangling. 孩子们坐在一堵高墙上,摇晃着他们的双腿。
15 cannon 3T8yc     
  • The soldiers fired the cannon.士兵们开炮。
  • The cannon thundered in the hills.大炮在山间轰鸣。
16 percussive M3gz9     
  • When it is dragged over pliant areas, an additional percussive tap could indicate this collision. 当它被拖到受范区域时,一个附加的敲击声提示这种碰触。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
  • Pneumatic DTH (Down-The-Hole) hammer is one of main pneumatic percussive-rotary drilling equipments. 风动冲击器是气动冲击回转钻进的主要设备之一。 来自互联网
17 smoldering e8630fc937f347478071b5257ae5f3a3     
v.用文火焖烧,熏烧,慢燃( smolder的现在分词 )
  • The mat was smoldering where the burning log had fallen. 燃烧的木棒落下的地方垫子慢慢燃烧起来。 来自辞典例句
  • The wood was smoldering in the fireplace. 木柴在壁炉中闷烧。 来自辞典例句
18 grafts acb4d221b27075a2e8300f0d66dc63f5     
移植( graft的名词复数 ); 行贿; 接穗; 行贿得到的利益
  • He's gone to London for skin grafts on his thighs. 他去伦敦做大腿植皮手术了。
  • Her burns were treated with skin grafts. 她的烧伤是用植皮方法进行治疗的。
19 minor e7fzR     
  • The young actor was given a minor part in the new play.年轻的男演员在这出新戏里被分派担任一个小角色。
  • I gave him a minor share of my wealth.我把小部分财产给了他。
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