It was a nice day for a drive. You know, those kinds of days where the temperature is hot but still cool enough that the warm air streaming through windows feels incredible?
A group of ten music industry executives took a joy ride from Nashville to the big motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. As they passed through southern Illinois, their leisurely trip called on them to change their plans.
Interstate 24 lay out before them, dotted lines passed under humming tires. Out of nowhere, an incredible boom as if a bomb had gone off, sounded just behind them. They turned around to see that a tractor-trailer plowed into cars that were stopped for construction.
Debris flew in every direction as 8 vehicles accordioned against each other. They were pressed up so hard that one car even flew straight up in the air. Fuel began to spread out covering the black top in slick flammables.
They could have easily kept going as they were out of harm’s way, but they didn’t. They turned their bikes around with an urgency as if it was their own families involved in the wreckage.
They approached the scene to find flames starting to lick around debris like a hungry snake. This called for efficient and immediate rescue. The scene was quite horrendous; they later described it as a war zone. Screams from trapped victims, smoke pouring from every vehicle, and pieces of metal and plastic scattered like shrapnel.
Two of the riders were brothers, Greg and Marc Oswald. They had spent ten years as paramedics in San Diego so they knew their way around a scene. They set up a perimeter and called 911.
The rest of the riders approached each vehicle and assisted the victims any way they could to get them to safety. They saved a family of six which included young children, a couple men in a pickup truck, and then a woman screaming from her crushed aluminum can of a car.
The woman was in a pretty delicate situation. The flames did not want to wait for her to exit and began to grow all around her. The men worked furiously but could not free her. They quickly made a decision and gathered ten men to execute it.
Each man found a position to take a firm hold of, some pulling and some pushing. Three strenuous feet at a time, the men put their backs into getting the car away from boiling hot fire and fuel. They kept it up until they managed to drag the whole mess to the median.
As if all this was not intense enough, a dull popping sound rang out as the fires raged. You know what it was? Crews determined later on that one of the occupants had ammunition stored in his vehicle for his gun.
All in all, through the brave work of this motorcycle crew, no one died, and that is truly a miracle!
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