Drivers tell tales of fear, heroism in I-70 crash


Stories are coming out from those involved in a frightening crash that closed Interstate 70 in Hendricks County Thursday afternoon.

In all that wreckage on eastbound and westbound I-70, there were acts of heroism.

One motorist said, "Some vehicles were smoking. A few people were trapped."

In the middle of the 35-vehicle pile-up, people went into action.

"There was a lot of smell of petrol or diesel and a guy said, 'We're going to cut him out of there'," said the motorist.

Other drivers used a power saw from a work truck to try to free a trapped driver.

"We tried to get some fire extinguishers in there, but we couldn't do it," driver Richard Pryor said.

Others started cutting the truck's roof, then firefighters arrived and took over.

For so many vehicles involved, injuries were fairly few, but the recollections many.

"The snow was blinding. You really couldn't hardly see," Colin Stiefel said.

"It was pretty much all white out. It sticking to the road, causing ice," said pick-up truck driver George Hackman. "The trucks started spinning out in front of me. I got off to the side of the road and got stopped. I was pretty much out of it, then semis started piling up left and right."

"It was all skidding and sliding in front of us. Cars going left, into the middle, off into the ditch," Pryor said.

"We were inches from being hit on two or three sides," Stiefel said. "We were all pretty sure we were heading into a large collision."

As vehicles wrecked, first in the westbound lanes, eastbound traffic, seeing the problem, started piling up.

"I was in it. Absolutely. I couldn't get out, I was up against the guardrail. I had my seatbelt on, I was curled up, because they were coming in. I wasn't getting out of that truck," Hackman said.

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