GREENVILLE – Witnesses jumped in to help following a two-vehicle crash on Friday afternoon in Greenville.
At approximately 2:25 p.m. Friday, a two-vehicle accident with smoke coming from both cars was reported near the intersection of Washington Avenue and Cypress Street. Matt McCubbin said he witnessed the crash between a black car and a silver minivan before he and his family helped get the victims out of their vehicles.
“I was actually loading a bag right into this car right here (packed on the side of the street), standing on that side, and I heard the bang, and I stepped out to look, and that black car came right at me,” McCubbin said. “I’d seen smoke, and like I said, it didn’t smell like antifreeze, coolant, any liquid, like a liquid burn or an evaporation. It was more of a fire smell, a smokiness, and I just acted accordingly.”
With smoke coming from the minivan, McCubbin said, he wanted to get the victims out of the vehicle before a potential fire. He and his nephew, Josh Griffith, were able to get both occupants out of the minivan.
“I tried to open the doors (of the minivan); they were jammed so I just grabbed the side door, yanked it completely off the car and then pried the other door and yanked it as hard as I could to get it off,” McCubbin said. “Her seat belt almost wouldn’t come off so I almost cut it then it just happened to pop right at that time because the older gentleman was laying in the middle of the car blocking her seat belt. But as soon as I got it off, soon as I pulled her seat belt off and I started pulling her out, Josh, my nephew, he’s the one who climbed in through the back and grabbed the older gentleman and pulled him out. Like I said, I wouldn’t have touched them, but I wasn’t going to take a chance of watching somebody hurt like that.”
McCubbin and Griffith got both occupants of the minivan to safety then focused on the teenage driver of the black car.
“As soon as we pulled them out and we got them two to a safe area, we ran up to check her (in the car),” McCubbin said. “My mom was actually over there tending to her at that moment, and then I went over and just checked on the car to make sure there was no fire because I’d seen smoke. The steering wheel was smoking from the airbag so I made sure I killed the ignition and grabbed her keys and then … it all happened in a hurry, really. It was just a flash moment and adrenaline, and we acted how we should have, I feel. Just wanted to make sure people were safe that was all.”
The exact conditions of the victims was unknown, but McCubbin said he’s glad everyone appeared to be OK.
“Glad the young lady’s OK and I hope the older folks end up all right. I’m sorry they lost their vehicle today and the accident happened, but they walked away, and vehicles can be replaced; people can’t,” he said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.