An SUV traveling south on I-69 lost control. The driver over corrected, charged over the median and slammed into a tour bus. Inside the bus were Canadian Semi-Pro Football players from the London Silverbacks.
The driver of the SUV was 16 year old Abigail Smith, daughter of PGA Golfer Chris Smith. The passengers were Abigail's 12 year old brother, Cameron, and her mother Beth. The Smith children were flown to the hospital. Their mother, Beth, was trapped in their car and didn't survive.
Staff Sgt. Timothy Taylor of the Fort Wayne National Guard says “We saw a plume of smoke as we got closer we saw a vehicle on fire. My partner said hey we get paid to do this we should help these people.”
The first on the scene were soldiers of the Fort Wayne National Guard. They were traveling home from weekend drills in Michigan. They just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
T.R. Hagerty, the Angola Fire Department Public Information Officer says “They just happened to be passing through it was a God Send.”
The National Guard jumped into action by removing five people from the bus. They gave medical aid and water to the injured, and set up an area for the medical helicopter to land.
Lieutenant Tracy Fields of the Fort Wayne National Guard says “We began giving first aid to as many people as we possibly could. Luckily we had out medic bags we carry with us to training events, and medical supplies. With our training we got from previous development to Iraq, we were able to help people.”
Lieutenant Fields says their action was instinctive. “The Soldiers I am with are hardened for combat. They're trained to handle chaotic situations. So when they showed up on the scene it was instinctive. They acted quickly to help as many people as they could.”
The National Guard was not the only relief on scene. 15 other emergencies personnel helped with the crash.
Another person badly injured in the accident was head coach, and owner of the London Silverbacks, Alan Lazar. He is still in the hospital in fair but stable condition. The Smith children are still in critical condition.