Passersby tried to help victims after Highway 31 crash - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Passersby tried to help victims after Highway 31 crash

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Saturday the victims of a fatal car wreck are still in the hospital and witnesses are coping with the images of that horrific scene.

A 2003 Ford Expedition rolled over several times on Highway 31 East of County Road 233 just after 11:00 p.m. Friday night. Five of the six people inside were ejected from the car. One passenger, a 9-year-old girl, died on impact.

A shoe, a medical glove, and a cell phone picture from that night are all images Adonnis Centers says will never fade from his mind.

“The images are still in my head, I mean, this beats a horror story,” he said as he looked at the broken trees Saturday afternoon, the day after the wreck.

That white Expedition had tried to pass another car on the shoulder, officials say, when it when off the road and landed in a nest of trees. That’s when Centers pulled up and saw the wreckage.

“I saw it was like 4 people running down, so I just parked my truck right here and had the lights focusing on the vehicle, and I heard screaming, I saw a baby,” he described.

With his head lights illuminating the dark scene, Centers and about six others began comforting the victims.

“Are all my children okay?” the woman asked.

“We were like, yes, all of them are okay,” he said, “just stay calm, you know, help is coming.”

Once paramedics arrived, those passersby continued to help, he says, they never thought twice about pulling over.

“It’s just a strong community, you know, I think they thought if they was in that situation wouldn’t you want somebody to help you?”

The visions are still strong in his mind of an 11-month-old baby boy, two young girls, a woman and a man all thrown from the car, and that 9-year-old girl.

“She’s not forgotten, you know, that little girl, she’s not forgotten. We’re all, everybody that helped, you know, we’re all thinking about that family and praying for them,” he said.

Praying for strangers, he says, now connected by that shoe, that medical glove, and that image, forever.

“It was just the right thing to do, you know, in my heart, it was just telling me to go down there and try to do whatever I can.”

Officials say both adults in that accident were wearing seat belts, however the baby was not in a car seat and none of the children were wearing seat belts.

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