A Texas man who helped pull wounded people from the wreckage of their vehicles during a massive 133-car pileup compared the carnage that he saw to a genocide.
The pileup, which occurred Thursday morning near Fort Worth, Texas, resulted in the deaths of at least six people and injured dozens more. Ryan Chaney, a trucker from Argyle, said he noticed “a solid sheet of ice” on the road before he and another driver crashed.
After his crash, Chaney said he noticed that there were cars slamming into one another on the express lane, and after about three minutes of cars crashing, there was a lull, and he sprang into action to try and help, adding that it just kept getting worse and, at one point, a grain hopper truck exploded.
He described seeing a woman die in front of his eyes that morning. Chaney said that he noticed her screaming and trapped inside of a car so crumpled that he couldn’t tell what type of vehicle it was. Chaney said that he was trying to get her out when a FedEx truck came barreling in and he was forced to dive under a nearby tractor-trailer. He said that the woman was “crushed to death,” according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“I witnessed [someone] die in front of me, where I barely got out with my life. I mean, nearly missed it,” Chaney said in a video he posted to Facebook that morning. “I heard the truck hit, I heard the explosion, then I heard cars and metal crunching, and I threw myself under a semitruck trailer just behind me, and that lady that I was trying to get out of her car got crushed to death. But I did rescue a few other people who I was able to drag out of their vehicle.”
Chaney’s “brain kind of shut off” after the woman’s death, and he went into autopilot, making his way through the wreckage and checking on people, he added. At one point, he used his fists and a pocketknife to break through a glass window and pull a victim from her car, resulting in bloodied hands. The morning’s chaos was “a genocide of metal,” he said.
“Some of it, I don’t remember,” Chaney said. “After that lady got crushed, I don’t remember much.”
Despite the chilling pileup, Chaney, still working to process what he just witnessed, ended up going to work that day. However, after a few hours, he decided that he needed to take the rest of the day off.
“People called me a hero, but I’m just like no. It’s kind of fight or flight,” he said. “Either you leave or you stay and fight it out. And my instinct was to stay and see what I could do.”
“I didn’t want to just pull out my phone and record like a pansy,” he said.