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Nashua driver owes her life to trio of heroes

Union Leader Correspondent

May 04. 2014 10:21PM

NASHUA — It was May 1, 2013, when Joshua Parker and his co-workers at Water’s Edge Landscape Associates were building a patio on Manchester Street and heard a loud crash.

“We heard the bang, saw the vehicle on fire and ran over. There was really no thought process behind it,” Parker said.

Parker, 42, along with Jose Palacios of Nashua and David Sampson of Billerica, Mass., jumped into action to save a 35-year-old Nashua woman who had crashed her minivan into a tree.

“We did what needed to be done,” Parker said.

The men were able to remove Suzanne Winslow from her burning car, while also grabbing a fire extinguisher to help douse the blaze.

“I don’t really think about what could have happened if we weren’t there,” Parker said.

Parker and Palacios, both New Hampshire residents, will be presented with Union Leader Hero Awards this month.

Parker, who recently moved from Nashua to Rindge, said he never spoke with the woman they helped rescue. Two of her relatives, however, did visit the landscapers at a job site shortly after the accident, thanking them for saving Winslow’s life.

“It is nice to be recognized, but honestly, I don’t think any of us deserve the attention. We all thought it was something anyone would do in that situation,” Parker said.

At the time, Deputy Fire Chief Karl Gerhard said the three men should be considered heroes for their actions. He said the woman would not have survived the accident if she had not been immediately removed from the burning vehicle, which was leaking flammable liquids.

“They put themselves in a considerable amount of risk, but they did make a difference, and it was a positive outcome because of that,” Gerhard said previously.

Winslow suffered a fractured hip and lacerated spleen in the accident.

The Union Leader Hero Awards honor New Hampshire residents who have risked their lives in the previous year to save or attempt to save the life of another person.

The program is sponsored by Citizens Bank and presented by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Recipients of the 2014 Union Leader Hero Awards will be honored at a ceremony at 3 p.m. May 13 at the State House in Concord. The event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested.

For more information on the program or ceremony, contact Community Relations Manager Shannon Sullivan at 206-7833, or

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