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‘Jaws of Life’ Inventor Found Dead in Car

May 16, 1986

REDLANDS, Calif. (AP) _ George Hurst, inventor of the widely used ″jaws of life″ rescue device and four-speed transmission pioneer, has been found dead in his garage, authorities said Thursday.

The body of Hurst, 59, was found Tuesday in his car in the garage of his home, said David Hammock, deputy coroner with the San Bernardino County Coroners Office.

The inventor, who had no known health problems, was last seen alive Monday morning and had been dead a few hours when his body was found, Hammock said. It may take several weeks to determine the cause of the death, he said.

Hurst, founder of the Pennsyalvania-based Hurst Performance Product Co., was associated with high performance vehicles and automotive advances. The company has since been sold several times, said Chuck Lamerel of American Bristol Co., seller of the jaws of life.

The jaws of life tool was originally developed by Hurst in the 1960s to rescue drivers in crashes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then adopted by rescue agencies throughout the country, said Lamerel.

Hurst also is credited with developing the four-speed transmission linkage and other innovations for high-performance automobiles and racing.

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