Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

April 14, 2009

<font color="BLUE">Soldiers rescue local 2-year-old</FONT>

By Christin Coyne

ccoyne@mineralwellsindex.com

When an idling truck holding an unattended 2-year-old girl rolled into traffic on U.S. Highway 180 East in Mineral Wells on April 5, several soldiers passing through town risked their lives to save her.

Pfc. Tex Burgains, Spc. Cory Morris, Cpl. Diego Castro, Pfc. Shaun Murray and Spc. Andrew Stiles were on their way back to their barracks in Weatherford when they stopped at a convenience store near the entrance to Fort Wolters Industrial Complex around 9 p.m., according to Staff Sergeant Erik Lorah.

“When they drove up into the parking lot, they noticed a white F-250 pick-up going backwards,” Lorah said. “The soldiers' first thought was that the driver of the truck was intoxicated because the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed.”

When the men realized that the pick-up had no driver and saw a young girl in a car seat in the back, Burgains and Morris jumped out of their van and ran to help, according to Lorah.

The idling truck is believed to have jumped out of park into reverse before going over both curbs between the parking lot and the road, entering the highway, and curving back towards a steep ravine on the side of the convenience store.

Burgains jumped into the truck, gained control of the vehicle and turned it into the highway turn lane while Morris stopped traffic, according to Lorah.

Castro backed the van onto the highway to provide a blockade from oncoming traffic for the rescue, while the other soldiers helped stop traffic so Burgain could pull the truck back into the parking lot.

The speed of traffic in front of the convenience store is usually between 40 and 45 miles per hour.

“The little girl was very scared and crying,” Lorah said.

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