MTI students first on-scene of fatal crash Wednesday
It was a scene that caught three Mitchell Technical Institute students, friends, by surprise.
Corey Ramold, Abby Albin and Brandon Sandoz were driving along Highway 37 just south of Mitchell, Wednesday afternoon, when they came upon something they've never seen before.
"There's no thought in it at all, you just grab the first thing you see and just act on it," Brandon Sandoz said.
Two adults and a 2 year-old little girl were trapped inside both a minivan and pickup truck. Once the three friends jumped out of their own car, they knew it was about to get even worse.
"I checked the gas leak. Could tell it was from the front of the minivan and knew it was going to explode at some point or get out of hand quickly so that's what led me to act as quick, got her out, went back to try and get the other woman and there was no way I could do that, it was fully engulfed," Sandoz said.
The minivan went up in flames. Just minutes before, they noticed the little girl in the back, still in her car seat, had a pulse, and a fighting chance.
"You just want to see if they're OK, when you see the driver was not conscious, I went to the back seat. Saw the kids, hoping the car seat was empty, it wasn't. I did what anyone else would have," Sandoz said. "Got her on the tailgate, laid her down, tried to get the man out of the pickup."
With the help of a local farmer, a chain and extinguishers, they did what they could to pull the pickup and the man inside away from the flames. They tried, unsuccessfully, to resuscitate him.
That's when, they say, emergency crews arrived and took it from there.
Just 24 hours after the crash, the three students first on the scene, are being dubbed heroes for their efforts.
"I don't think we're heroes, if anyone is it's everyone that was there. It wasn't just us. Just helping out I guess," Corey Ramold said.
They had plans to visit the two year-old girl, Lauryn, in the Sioux Falls hospital, Wednesday night. Stick with KSFY News as we learn more about her condition.
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