A Los Angeles man who was crushed by a landslide in 1960 says he never forgot his rescue mission and never forgave his rescuers for his actions.
“You have to love it,” John Bailes told ABC News of his role in the rescue of a child who had been trapped under a pile of rubble after an earthquake in the city of Valdivia.
Bailets rescue was part of a team that included his son, John Baughles, now retired from the Army.
Baughes, who was 16 at the time, was buried under a heap of rubble when he heard a noise coming from behind and ran toward it, Bailys son said.
He was trapped by a pile that collapsed beneath him and rolled him into the pile.
The debris then rolled him over, crushing him.
The force of the fall threw Bailles on the ground, where he died of his injuries.
His son said his father’s funeral was held in the rubble, and that Bailies body was carried in the back of a car.
Biffle says his father would be proud of his heroic actions.
John B. Buggles, a 16-year-old high school senior in Valdivian, California, died Oct. 27, 1960.
(AP) “I don’t think it was his fault that he went into that pile,” Biffles son said, noting his father was buried in Valdevia’s earthquake rubble after being buried in a pile.
“He didn’t even have the decency to get his life started.”
The story of John Buggs heroism earned him the nickname “The Big Guy,” and he has been known to deliver a funeral sermon.
Bailyes family moved to Los Angeles after the tragedy.
His sister, Rose, said her family is grateful that they have had time to celebrate Bugg’s life and his legacy.
“My family is blessed to have a member of our family in our life, and I feel like that’s one of the things that is very special to us, that he’s here and he’s going to be here forever,” Rose said.
“There’s no way that my parents, or my sister, or John Bailys family would have been able to have the success that they’ve had, had it not been for him.”
The earthquake that killed Bailers son in the 1960 earthquake is still classified as a magnitude-7.8 earthquake.
A magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck near the same time.