IRVING (CBS 11 NEWS) – They pulled them from open hatches, pried open doors, and carried shocked victims to the side of the road. In the first minutes following a deadly bus crash in Irving Thursday, other highway drivers jumped in to help, not willing to wait for first responders to arrive.
Video captured by Kenneth High, one of the drivers who stopped along President George Bush Turnpike, shows a number of drivers stopped on the frontage road and running to the bus to help. That was High’s first indication of how serious the crash was. He had seen the bus swerve and flip, but from a distance, and thought it was a tractor trailer. His phone recorded his shocked reaction as he pulled closer and realized what happened.
“That’s a motor home,” he can be heard saying out loud. “These people on the road, look at all the diesel, the gasoline. Oh my god, I cannot believe this.”
High set his phone on the front bumper of his truck, before rushing to join those already at the side of the bus. It shows bystanders reaching into two open hatches on the roof of the bus. Passengers emerged, their arms wrapped around their rescuers. Some were carried away, forming a line of people sitting along the road, appearing dazed.
High said most of them were bloodied, bruised. There was little sound though he said, no screaming, just moans from people in pain.
He returned to his truck to get tools, a hammer and a drill, in an effort to open up more exits. After removing a vent cover though, his glance fell on someone pinned beneath the bus, one of the two people killed in the crash.
“That’s pretty much when I gave up, I just didn’t want to be around it. I saw all the blood, it choked me up, it was really bothering me a lot.”
An ambulance arrived a moment later and first responders flooded the scene. High said he and others fell back, hoping they had helped, when victims needed it most.
“Those are crucial moments at the beginning,” he said. “I didn’t feel comfortable standing there, I wanted to help out. I really wanted to give some help to the people.”
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