Curtiss Shaver and his family’s roots run deep in farming: from left, Zane, Jolea, Curtiss, and Traci holding Sophie.
Hometown Hero Wins National Award By Ben Norman
he sound of the siren was getting louder now, bringing new hope to 18-year-old Curtiss Shaver as he lay on the ground with his left leg hopelessly caught in a combine’s auger. “I had already made my peace with God and accepted the fact that death was imminent,” he remembers. “Now the wail of the sirens meant the ambulance and rescue vehicle would be there any moment and I would at least have a chance to survive. I can’t put into words how good the sound of that siren was.” A few moments before getting trapped on that fateful day of Sept. 2, 1992, Shaver had been combining corn on the family farm in Pike County. The combine jammed, and as Shaver looked for the cause of the malfunction he slipped and got his leg caught in the auger. His quick thinking enabled him to stop the rotating auger by jamming it with a wrench. 18 october 2012
“The jammed auger was causing the combine’s belts to slip and generate enough heat that the machine was in danger of catching fire,” he says. A large plume of black smoke rose from the combine. “I thought, ‘Oh, no now I might burn to death.’” A construction crew from South Alabama Electric Co-op in Troy was working nearby and heard Shaver’s shouts for help. Crew foreman Evans Williams sent Toney Greer and Regal Hamm to investigate while he and Mike Shiver attempted to free a stuck truck. “No one can imagine how glad I was to see Toney and Regal,” Shaver says. “Regal got the combine engine switched off and ran to a nearby house and got them to call for rescue. Toney stayed with me and encouraged me to hang on. The ambulance and rescue team arrived along with Mr. Malcom Dickey who attempted to cut the auger in half with a cutting torch. His torch www.alabamaliving.coop
Published on Sep 27, 2012