PRINCETON, Texas (CBS11) – Jacob Harms says he’s desperate to find missing members of his family after a frightening crash on I-20 in Palo Pinto County Wednesday night.
“I can’t believe I’m alive. I really… I… I can’t believe it,” he said.
One moment his family was parked along the highway, the next they were flying across the median.
“My mom was pulling over ‘cause she was feeling sick… We got hit from behind by an 18-wheeler,” he said recalling the crash that threw them into oncoming traffic.
Harms remembers seeing headlights coming straight toward them and the collision with another car that sent them rolling.
“I thought, for 30 seconds, my mom was gone with no response, no nothing, no movement,” said Harms.
He’s still grappling with how he, his brother and his mother, were all able to walk away.
“It doesn’t even make sense,” he said.
The three were traveling home to the town of Princeton in Collin County from El Paso, after more than a week in El Paso for the funeral of Harms’ grandmother.
In the chaos of the crash, the family didn’t immediately realize the pets they were traveling with – all five of them – were suddenly loose.
“We saw the crates were broken in the middle of the street,” said Harms.”
Three were quickly recovered, but two disappeared – an 8-year-old Chiweenie named Charlie and and an 11-year-old black cat named Riley.
“I can’t imagine how stressed out and scared they are,” he said.
Less than 24 hours after they nearly lost their own lives, the family was back at the scene of the crash, slowly driving down nearby streets and carrying a familiar stuffed toy, hoping their pets would pick up on the smell of home.
“They’re like family to me. If your family was lost out here, you’d be out looking for them too,” said Harms.
The crash happened on I-20 near mile marker 382 close to the town of Santo in Palo Pinto County.
Anyone who may have information on Charlie or Riley, can contact Jacob Harms at 469-396-3537.