June 22, 2009

The I-69 SUV/BUS Crash from the Canadian Perspective

I had not read that the Canadian Semi-Pro football players pulled the two children from the burning SUV and saved their lives:

Myros, running back Nick Romain, 25, and wide receiver McCartney Sealey, 21, were among the first players out of the bus after the crash. Romain climbed through a roof emergency exit, followed by Myros. Sealey went out a side window exit.

As Romain helped Cameron, Sealey was at the other door trying to grab his sister. “My face and arms felt like they were burning,” said Sealey. “It was hot, but I just had to keep pulling at it and finally ripped the door open. I got her out a few feet and then it just got too hot and I was thinking the car might explode.”

When Sealey got the door open, the rush of oxygen fuelled the flames shortly before the gas tank exploded. “It was brutal,” said Sealey. “They were in pain. It was terrible. She was screaming for us to help her mother and brother. But it was a surreal experience. There’s a lot of things I can’t remember. I was focused on my task.”

Romain pulled the brother from the SUV less than 30 seconds before it exploded.

Perhaps I just missed it in the coverage, but here is a report from TV21/33:

Members of a Fort Wayne-based National Guard were the first at the scene. Witnesses say the troops, while returning from a training drill in Michigan immediately stopped to help the victims.

"The SUV was completely engulfed in flames by the time we got there," Specialist Dustin Winebrenner with the 293rd Infantry Battalion said. "I heard somebody screaming in the direction of the SUV and it looks like somebody might be being pulled from the wreckage of that SUV or not. It sounded like a little girl was screaming. We didn't go to that SUV because if anybody was in it we assumed that they weren't going to make it so we went straight to the bus."

The article from Canada repeats the first-reported mis-fact that the mother was driving. It was apparently the 16-year-old daughter. In any case, a horrific scene and very heroic football players and National Guardsmen.

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