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Print Worker Risks Life, Saves Trucker –Cagle

August 2011

Bits an Pieces

Sometimes, we only need to look around us to see examples of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Case in point is Michael Widmark, a third-shift worker at Taylor, MI-based Printwell Inc., whose commute home early one morning meant the difference between life and death for a Canadian neighbor.

Widmark's journey home on June 8 was interrupted by the incredible sight of one tractor trailer slamming into a flatbed truck that had been parked along the side of Interstate 94 in Van Buren Township. The flatbed, which had two large coils of steel, caused the truck driven by 27-year-old Mark Thibert of Windsor, Ontario, to jackknife, roll over and catch fire, The Detroit News reported.

So imagine Widmark's reaction when he saw Thibert running across the freeway, fully engulfed with flames shooting three feet above his head. Widmark hastily parked his Ford Ranger and ran onto the scene. There, he found Thibert, on the median, still aflame. Widmark tackled Thibert into the grass and used t-shirts, as well as the ground, to help put out the fire.

"It was the worst thing I've ever seen in my life," Widmark told the newspaper.

Explosions continued, blasting debris throughout the area (some of which broke the headlights on his Ranger). The flames were fueled by Thibert's cargo: he had been hauling Crown Royal whiskey.

Widmark remained with Thibert until the victim could be transported to the Trauma Burn Center at University Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. Thibert suffered third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body and will require multiple skin grafts over the coming months, a relative told the Windsor Star.

Fortunately for Widmark, his injuries were minor. But the sights and sounds from that evening are bound to stay with him for a long time.

ALTERNATIVE PROBLEMS: Stop us if you've heard this one...a printer was criticized recently for refusing to produce a job that conflicted with his moral beliefs, causing some to wonder whether the decision was borne out of homophobia.

Access Print Media, of Kent, WA, fell under scrutiny after it refused to print flyers promoting Mike Reis' new gay bar, named Diesel. Shortly after Reis contacted Access Print Media, he received an e-mail from the printer that said it would not print the materials because they promoted "the kind of lifestyle that goes against our morals..."

 

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