10/20/13 Car Crash on Northbound I-65

We were driving home yesterday around 5:00.  Although everything seemed normal, that was about to change.  We were just a few miles from home, when we came upon an accident that had clearly just occurred.   Dad pulled the Beast to the side of the road.  Mom immediately jumped out and Dad shortly followed after yelling at Brett to find the hazard lights (we hadn’t ever used them yet in the Beast).  Brett and I moved to their seats in front (Mom has us do that if the kids are in the car so we can keep an eye on things).  We were so close we were able to see everything that was happening.

When Mom got out of the car she first ran to the left side of the highway where there was a silver SUV type vehicle.  She found Natalie (the driver), who had a broken wrist, cuts, and bruises, but no major injuries that she noticed at the scene.  We watched Mom and another woman help Natalie out of the car.   They walked Natalie away from the car and helped her sit down on the grass.  Mom spent a few minutes with Natalie making sure there was nothing serious and then ran back across the road.

While Mom ran left, Dad ran over to the ditch on the right side of the highway where a truck with a trailer had gone off the road.  He saw there was fire around the fuel pipe.  He told me he looked and saw that men were pulling out the people, so he ran to the closest commercial vehicle and asked for a fire extinguisher, because he knew they carried them.  Other people were bringing fire extinguishers and Dad said he eventually emptied six or seven of them into the fire.  He directed most of them at the fuel tank.  However, this did very little but delay the fire. He told me later that his best guess is that the fuel tank probably had a hole in it and as the fuel expanded with the heat, more squirted out all over the car burning through everything.

While Dad was trying to put out the fire, other men were trying to remove the people from the burning vehicle.  The first person they got out was a nine year old boy named Drew.  Mom saw a man removing Drew which she later told us is why she ran back across the road.  His actual name is Andrew, but he just told Mom his name was Drew.   When Mom got to him, he appeared to have a broken leg, so she helped support it as he was set down on the ground.  A few minutes later, the vehicle fire had grown so much that Mom wanted to move Drew further away from the vehicle.  She and the man carried him over and another lady gave him her jacket which they placed under Drew.  Drew remembered his Dad’s phone number, so Brett then left our car to bring mom her phone. (Mom couldn’t reach the parents).

We later found out that Drew was only able to be removed from the vehicle after one of the men was able to cut the seat belt off of him. Praise God for pocket knives, because if we had to go along the road asking for knives, Drew might still have been with his grandpa.

While Drew was being removed, someone (I believe it was Doug) went around to the other side of the burning vehicle (the fire was still small at that point) and opened the passenger door.  When he opened the door, he discovered the grandmother as she slid out of the car.  Another man helped carry her away from the vehicle.

At this point, everyone did all they could to help the grandfather.  We later found out his name was Dennis.

There were people inside the burning vehicle trying to get him out, but he was pinned (I am not sure if his leg was pinned, or what is was, but I know he was stuck) from the impact of the collision. Everybody kept trying and trying until the fire was too intense and it was too late.  We watched Dad who was so close to the fuel tank working as hard as possible to put out the fire.  He told me that once the back window blew out from the heat of the fire was when he finally stepped back.

When nobody could stay in the vehicle trying to remove him any longer, they all backed up.  I think all the people trying to help were in disbelief.  I didn’t realize at this point that they hadn’t gotten him out.  I still thought everyone was saved and they were just keeping the fire from spreading.

Soon after, the emergency vehicles started arriving. When the police arrived some went down to the next U-turn, and some just pulled up on the other side of the highway. An ambulance pulled up on the far side and evacuated Sandra.  She was the first to leave.  Mom didn’t help her, so I am not sure about what injuries she sustained, but they evacuated her very quickly.

Dad came back to the Beast after that because he had to back up the Beast.  They needed to make space for the medivac helicopter to land on the highway.  The helicopter airlifted Drew to Kosair.  Mom said he had a probable broken ankle and leg, but was coherent although he appeared to be going into shock between the time she first carried him to a safe distance and the EMT workers started working on him.

When Dad came back was when we found out that they hadn’t been able to get Dennis out.  We were all really quiet.  It was very difficult to comprehend that somebody had just died.  We had helped at accidents before, but everybody had always been alive.  I don’t think any of us knew what to do.

I would like all the who responded to the crash to know that you did not quit too early on Dennis.  We watched you work until the fire was really big.  We could see all the black smoke as the tires burned and hear all the popping as the glass exploded.  You all did everything you could.

I also want to say, that I did not know Dennis, but I believe everyone did things the way he would have wanted them done. First we saved his grandson.  Then we saved his wife.  Then we did our best for him.  I know that’s the what my Dad would have wanted.

I would like to take this time to thank everyone who was there. Though we lost one, we saved two.  Neither Drew (who had to be cut out of his seatbelt) or Sandra could have gotten out of the car by themselves in time. Everyone who helped in any small way is a hero.

I don’t know many names but I would like to thank the man with the knife, who cut Drew out.  I often carry a pocket knife, but it is not used for heroic purposes. It is generally for hay bales,  boxes, and other work – not saving people’s lives.

The man who was with Sandra, Dad said you were amazing.  He said you talked to her the entire time and told her over and over that you wouldn’t leave her and help was on the way.

Doug, you got Sandra out, and kept trying to save Dennis.

The lady in the blue shirt, mom said you were amazing with Drew.  And she said your boyfriend worked really hard to try to save Dennis too.

And everybody else who stopped and helped or just supplied fire extinguishers, thank you too.

I would also like to point out that though there were many people who helped, there were people who just drove right on by. There were people standing in the middle of the street telling people to stop, and people just drove around. That amazes me, that there was a car on fire on the side of the road, and you were not able to take some time to help.  When mom was trying to cross the road to get to Drew, she had a hard time getting a car to stop so she could cross in front of it.

My mom told me later that if you are ever in a situation where people need help, you help. Because you have to live with yourself after, and if that was a crash where just a few more people were  needed to save Dennis, you do not want to live with yourself if you just pass by.

Yesterday was devastating for Natalie and Dennis’s family.  Our family is praying for you.

 

 

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88 comments on “10/20/13 Car Crash on Northbound I-65
  1. Karen Kelley says:

    You and your brother are so brave…loss is devastating but it seems that true good came from your mom and dad’s actions! Keep that in your heart. Terrible things happen but the good people of this world don’t give up. You have to keep trying to make the world a place where good things happen and good people help make them happen. Yes, someone died and that is very sad. Even for me and I didn’t know him or have anything to do with the accident. Just know people everywhere are praying for your family and theirs. Love is everywhere…and that is the miracle of life. I know it is hard but God wanted you to witness this because it will make you understand the power we have. Not to bring back the dead but to simply help one another and love as much as you can. It is a powerful lesson but I know you are up to it because you have your family and friends…and now new friends. God bless you all and just take time to heal.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thank you Karen, It helps a lot to have people reach out to me. It was hard to be there and just sit in the car, but I know if i wasn’t there. they would of been yelling and disorganized, so I stayed. Thank you for Reading!

  2. Lori says:

    Wow. What a horrible thing to have to go through. I read your brothers blog too and I just wanted to tell you too: God used you in a wonderful way. You have some very caring and wonderful parents, and I can tell that you and your brother honor them and God with your actions. I am a nurse and I can tell you that seeing people suffer never, ever gets easier. But I know that God is in control. I have such confidence in that. I hope you do too.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hi Lori, it is so hard to see people suffer at work. I don’t think I would like to be an ER doctor or something like that. It would be very stressful. As for confidence in God, I have no doubts this is all part of his great plan that will all work for good. Thank you for reading!

  3. Terri says:

    Thank you, Colter, for your clear explanation of what you saw. Thank you for helping with your siblings and watching out for your parents. I agree, everyone who helped were a part of something big. Helping like God would have them do–putting the needs of others ahead of themselves. I hope you all will find your strength and healing in Christ and the prayers of all those who are lifting you up before the throne. I’m glad you all got to meet with the families who were involved in the accident and got to see that Drew is recovering. I’m sure God will use this for good in your life.

  4. Deb Podgorny says:

    Colter, many times we don’t understand God’s plan at the time something happens. Maybe Dennis prayed and asked God to use him for something BIG. Maybe that something big is for Drew to become a parimedic and help save other peoples lives. Or maybe the something BIG was for a boy named Colter to write his thoughts that would touch many people across the United States. Unfortunately, Dennis is no longer with his family which is very sad. Because of your sincere words there is a great possibility that people across the U.S. will be praying for Dennis’ family for comfort in their time of loss. Thank you, Colter, for writing. May God allow you to rest beside still waters. Our God is good. His blessings to you and your family.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hi Deb, I think God has something planned for us all, and though it might not seem BIG. It will end up changing the world. I don’t know if you have ever seen “Evan Almighty” in the movie it says all you have to do to change the world is an “Act of random kindness” It is encouraging that we know it does make a difference. Now or later it will all work for the glory of God.

  5. Marsha says:

    Colter, like I replied to Brett there are no words to make what you saw better….just know that it was Mr. Godsaves time to go home to be with the lord. One can never fully understand the path that is set for our lives we just have to live it. I am thinking you were put there to help and you did a good job. Time and faith in the lord heals the emotional wounds. Hang in there buddy!

  6. Mary Kay Hahn says:

    Colter,
    Thank God your family was able to provide such aid and comfort to those involved in this tragic accident. You truly lived the example of the Good Samaritan. Heroes aren’t the product of fiction…they are the person who just happens to have the pocket knife or the fire extinguisher, or who helps a child through the trauma of an accident, or who fight a fire to the last, or even the kids who sit obediently in the car and wait. May your whole family find comfort in the knowledge that, just as you wrote so well, things would have been much worse without you. Our prayers are with all of you.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hi Mary, It was amazing what the people had to aid us helping Sandy and Drew. The fire extinguishers just kept coming along with the volunteers. Praise the lord so many helped.

  7. alisa says:

    What a tragic accident that you had to witness at such a young age. I’m sorry you and your siblings had to see this happen. Reading your story is like being there in person very descriptive. Sending thoughts and prayers to your family and the victims family. I hope you never have to see something so tragic again.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thank you Alisa, it is hard to see things like that at a young age, but I hope that I do see more tragedy, if I can be there, then I can help. And God knows I will do my best to do the right thing even though it may be hard. Thanks for reading!

  8. Laura Bazell says:

    Colter,

    Thank you for your well-written, heartfelt message. It make take a while to fully process this horrendous accident so your mind can put it to rest. Even though we may understand death logically, emotionally it is difficult concept. Different people process these things in their own way, but I think writing your thoughts and feelings is an excellent outlet.

    I am grateful that you were able to keep your wits about you to keep the littles safe.

    You are absolutely correct. Grandpa Dennis rests in peace knowing his grandson and wife are safe. Of course, it will be difficult for those left behind as I am sure they will miss him very much.

    Love and prayers to all for strength and peace.

    Laura Bazell

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hey Laura, it will take a while to get over this and I am sure I will remember this forevermore, but God will give me peace when he wants to. Thank you for praying.

  9. Megen says:

    Colter, thank you so much for helping. I am so sorry that you had to witness this, but God needed you there at that time and used you to help those people. I am a member of the emergency response team where I work, and the people who train us are professional emergency response/security and they tell us that you would be surprised how many people wont/dont help in situations like that. It takes a very special person to do what you and your family did. I know this will stick with you for the rest of your life, but know that there are tons of people that are here to support you and will be eternally grateful to you.

  10. Scott Rosen says:

    We are proud of you and your family! We wish we could be there to sit and pray with you, Colter. Our prayers go out to Dennis’ family.

  11. Sandi Coyer says:

    Dear Colter,

    A very descriptive writing. I could picture all the life saving measures you wrote about. I especially liked the fact that even though you feel traumatized by knowing someone died a horrible death, you still are encouraging to others. That is a great gift.
    Encouragement brings comfort.

    Thank You for teaching us how we can do better and why men should carry pocket knives. I keep one in my car.

    The Bible says that our days are numbered even before we are born. Take comfort that Dennis died exactly the day God intended. When we look at it that way, you were right to encourage all who helped.

    God Bless,
    Sandi Coyer

    P.s. I want you to know(please let Brett know)I will continue to pray for all involved in the accident.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hi Sandi, I am so glad that you were encouraged. If i can do that for a few people it makes the entire time well worth it, Thank you for praying, it really does help!

  12. Marsha says:

    I have been following your family’s various blogs and/or Facebook posts for a while now and have enjoyed the daily glimpses into your precious family’s lives. Thank you for posting this detailed account of the accident. I know it must have been a very traumatic experience, especially for the little ones. I am not surprised, though, that your family stopped to help, as I feel I have come to know your family as much as is possible without ever having met you. Your parents have done and are doing a great job of training all of you to be good citizens, to do what is right, and to serve others. We don’t always know why certain events or situations are allowed in our lives; however, “Suffering may be inevitable…but God’s purpose is unstoppable” (David Platt). I know many people are praying for your family at this time, as well as those who were injured and/or lost a loved one. Just want to encourage you that as hard as this is, your family was right there for a reason. Keep trusting in God – He knows the end from the beginning. America needs more families like yours!

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hey Marsha, I enjoyed writing this post, specifically details. My mom says I write like a reporter not like a blogger, but it is getting better. That is a great quote by David Platt, I will have to remember that. Thanks for reading!

  13. Deren Stevens says:

    Hi Colter,

    I have been reading your mom’s Facebook status on the incident and she mentioned you, Brett and your dad are taking it pretty hard. It is very brave of you to share this story with us. I know it is quite traumatic when you really assess the end result. But as you mentioned, you all saved two lives. I hope this post is an inspiration for others to be brave and to stop and help whenever accidents like this happen. I also hope it encourages them to prepare themselves with necessary tools in their car for instances like this. The majority of my household are women and the first things my mom bought me when I got my own car was a mini hammer and a Swiss army knife to keep in my glove compartment. Always prepare yourself for the worst.

    I know you are proud of your family and all of those individuals who jumped in a helped. God bless you all for desiring to save his children. You all will continue to be in my prayers. Stay strong! God loves you!

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hi Deren, My Mom always say’s “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” It works pretty well, but we were driving our new car when we came upon the accident, so we did not have our normal tools. It would not of affected the outcome, but I still would of felt better if we had our tools there. Thanks for reading!

  14. B. Deaton says:

    There are times where we wonder why something tragic happens but we know that God can bring beauty from ashes. Knowing that you would keep an eye on your siblings enabled your mother and father to leave the vehicle and help the people involved in the accident. I thank you for sharing your version of that evening. Please know that I am earnestly praying for your family and for the victims.

  15. Marsha Evans says:

    Dear Colter, I am so sorry that you and your family had to experience this tragedy. Know that God placed your family there for a reason. Sometimes He teaches us hard lessons with difficult times. You have learned that you come from a family of heroes, and you have learned that not everyone is a hero.
    Your family has been blessed by helping to save two lives, and saddened by the reality that we can’t always save people. He is the one in charge of larger things.
    I pray that the friendships formed because of this tragedy will help to sustain all of you, and that you all find peace and solace in the knowledge that you are truly all heroes. Remember that when you meet Drew. God Bless You And Your Family

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hi Marsha, God placed us here for a reason and whatever the reason I am willing to be a part of His master plan. I will probably hold tragedy, and pain, but it will all work together for the greater good.

  16. Brandi Rivera says:

    I am so sorry you are hurting right now but I want to tell you that I would be proud to call you my son just as I know your parents are so proud of you. To witness what all of you did is never easy but God doesn’t put us in all easy situations because we could never grow and become compassionate if things were always easy. Take all the time you need to grieve and know you and your family are being surrounded by all of us.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hi Brandi, I have to agree being part of God’s plan is not always easy, but he puts us in hard places for a reason. And I will strive to be happy wherever God takes me.

  17. Karyn says:

    Thank you for the detailed insights and thoughts of wisdom Colter. You’re all in our prayers.

  18. Kristy booth says:

    I am so thankful for your family and all the other heroes that stopped to help the Godsaves and Natalie. Sarah Godsave is a dear friend and coworker of mine and I just can’t thank you all enough for saving her son and her mother in law. It is so tragic and sad that Dennis did not make it, but you all did all that was humanly possible! People like your family and the others who helped are what help me have renewed faith in people. You are all in my prayers as you try to process all that you saw that fateful night. You guys saved two human beings and not many people in this world can say that. God bless you.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hi Kristy, thank you for your kind words. It helps to have people to talk to. Some of the people on the north side of the highway left soon after the police got there. They did not get to talk to anyone else and are having a hard time now. Please pray for them.

  19. Darlene H says:

    Colter, thank you for sharing this story and for the kind words you said to all involved. Your family sounds like a wonderful family and the individuals in the accident were blessed to have what I consider angels on earth there to help them. My prayers are with all of you. Peace be with you!
    Darlene

  20. Micah says:

    Your moms right. If your ever able to help someone, do try.. Your observation of everyone trying to help Dennis out sounds as if they did what they could with what they had.. Unfortunately it was not enough.. Learn from it, put yourself in the other families shoes and be thankful for what you have.. The crew that tried helping you guys will have his death on their minds for some time as well, and some may even question if they are actually worth having around being someone died under their watch.. If you see them,let them know that you believed that they did everything they could to help.. Anytime you can shovel hope into the hole of doubt, the world becomes a better place.

    Even a small ripple can become a great wave.

    Take care fella, sounds like you got a good head on your shoulders

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hi Micah, We talked to the Godsave’s and they said unless someone had the saw to cut him out, there was no chance. I would like to take this time to congratulate law enforcement, they were extremely respectful of Dennis’s remains and got Sandy out of there amazingly fast. It was cool because when they airlifted Drew, the copter was the one that lands in the fire station that borders our property. So we had been in the helicopter and had seen it before, Thank you for reading!

  21. Melissa says:

    Colter
    This story brings tears to my eyes. I was going to right I am very sorry you witnessed such a tragic event, but now that I have stopped to think I guess the more appropriate phrase is that I’m very sorry that the event ever happened. I am very glad that your family was there to help. You did everything you could and like you said it’s what Mr. Godsave would have wanted. I didn’t lose my grandpa in a tragic accident, but in sort of the opposite. I watched him suffer for a long period of time and to this day I have a hard time coming to terms with it completely (and that was two years ago). Time heals all wounds and it certainly shows us how fragile life is. Thank you for sharing this story and showing us how important it is to help one another. Rest assured that Mr. Godsave is looking down on all of you. You were his family’s angels that day and now he is yours. My heart and prayers go out to all those involved. May you find peace in your heart and mind.

    God Bless

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thank you, we have been to many accident sites but this was the first one with a fatality. It took a while for all the kids to get it through their heads that someone just died. It takes some thought and time to actually get around that. I was talking to Mister Godsave (Dennis’s son) the other day and he was telling me how he kept telling all his children “I love you” all the time. Mom asks us all the time “You know what?” we then answer “We know, you love us” it happens so often we often disregard it, but it is something to take to heart every time.

  22. Jamie Curtis says:

    Colter, your story answered a lot of technical questions that I had about the fatal accident. I felt like I was right there in the Beast with you all watching this tragedy unfold. I hope the retelling is therapy…I think it must be. All I can think to say is I am praying…and keep writing.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thank you! I am glad i answered the technical part of the story. I asked myself when i was done, if you knew nothing of it, what would you ask? That seemed to work well.

  23. Laura says:

    I have been praying for them, their families, and your families since I first heard, but this – I am crying again, and I just hope that if I am ever needed, I can step up as well as everyone did this time. Would that it were never needed – but if it is, I hope to live up to this example.

    I am sorry that Dennis could not be saved, but I think you are right – I think he would have been glad to know his wife and grandson were safe – and that those who stopped did all they could to try to save him also. Thank goodness you were, all of you, there.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thank you for praying. We are doing well and have contacted many other people. Drew actually did not have a broken leg, he got out of the hospital the first nigh and went home with his family, so praise god for that.

  24. Heather L. says:

    Here’s the Mr. Rogers quote I mentioned to your brother:
    http://www.fci.org/new-site/par-tragic-events.html

    We find the greatest gifts through the most serious challenges in our lives. You learned about yourself and about the world. Please know, though, that the people who don’t stop fall into what psychologists call “the bystander effect.” It means that we are much less likely to help in a group than when there’s only one or two of us. Because you were directly behind the accident, you felt much more of a responsibility to help than a person 10 or 20 cars behind you. It’s not a particularly attractive human quality, but it does exist. What works in those situations is to point out a single person and give that person a job to do (you–call 911; you–move these cars, etc.). Then people are mobilized into action. Try not to judge those who didn’t help too harshly, but use this experience to educate others about how to respond. You may create lots of new “helpers” that way! Best to you and your family.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      I agree completely about the specific jobs. What was amazing was everyone did something without being told. Nobody was standing around waiting for directions, they were all doing there best to help. And i find it funny that you use the word “judge” because we just had a discussion in church about how you should not judge others harshly or you will be judged harshly. I find that there are 2 ways to use that word, either “evaluate” or “condemn” I am certainly not condemning those people, but I think I do evaluate. I am not saying I should, but I think that in this world, we evaluate everyone we meet. Thanks for reading!

  25. Deb Greene says:

    Colter, thank you for sharing your account of the horrific accident. You too are a hero and you so selflessly praise and thank others. Amazing character you have. And yes, I believe your story give an amazing life tip…to strive to live your life without regret. Very important. I thank your entire family for Good Samaritan actions and pray that all be healed physically and emotionally from the event.
    Deb Greene

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thanks, I was talking to myself about what I actually did, and decided that the most important thing I did was pray. We had 8 kids in the car praying and all it takes for God to be there is 2 or 3. So praise him that we were able to save Sandy and Drew.

  26. Barbara Neiswender says:

    You a a very wise young man, you know so much already. What could I possibly say to you that your parents have not already told you? Nothing. all I can think about saying is that I know in my heart that you are a very special brother. To read what you wrote I know that if I were ever in need you would find a way, as well as your family to help. Not every one can do the right thing for what ever reason. The best thing I can say is, God remembers.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thank you, my mom and dad are very wise parents, they work hard and bear with us all. (even when we are grumpy) And not only does God remember, he works it all together for great good.

  27. Marsha says:

    I almost felt like I was there. Though, that is not someplace I want to be.
    Please keep writing about what you saw. It may help for you to get more into your feelings about what you saw, when you are ready.
    You will find in life, there are a lot of people who turn the other way and don’t want to help.
    Some of those people people may have been going to their own emergencies, but we know all of them weren’t. Pray for those people also, they also need help.

  28. Charla says:

    You made me feel like I was there. I’m sorry you all had to witness that but so glad you had blessing of helping. Praying for your family as you process the loss of losing someone you were trying to help.

  29. Heather says:

    Colter,
    It’s Heather, Doug’s wife. After reading your blog post, I have no worries that you are growing up to be a fine young man. You are thanking all of us and helping us through all of this with your words. Thank YOU!! The weird thing is that before we left to go camping that weekend, Doug came back in to look for a knife. He always takes one with him on camping trips…couldn’t find one. I was hurrying him on and we left. How wonderful that someone was there at the right time with a knife. Never know when you might need one! You witnessed God bringing 10-15 total strangers together to work together for the good deed he had planned. We were all suppose to be there for a reason. And even though we couldn’t save Dennis, we all know he is home, rejoicing with our Lord!

  30. Jennifer says:

    God puts people in situations for many different reasons, you & your family were put on that interstate for a reason that day that only He knows. There are many parts of your letter that made me really think, but the part about your pocket knife stuck with me. I have a nephew about your age and he has often said “it’s just a knife, nothing special” (he, like you, only uses his for hay bales, feed bags & such) I would bet that until that day on the interstate the gentleman that used his to cut the little boy out of his seat hadn’t thought he would ever have to use his to save a life. You & your family are special people and often, things that seem ordinary are really extraordinary.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thank you, I was debating bringing my pocketknife to church that morning, I decided to bring it and throughout the crash I never once thought of my knife in my pocket. I was thinking about that yesterday how everyone kept their cool and thought about what needed to be done instead of panicking.

  31. Kim (Bried) Theuner says:

    Colter,
    What a brave thing your family did. You kids all staying in the car was a big help, I’m sure; your parents didn’t need to worry about you guys too! I understand you all are having a difficult time with this, and I’m sorry for all of you. Your piece was written wonderfully. Hope all of you heal soon.
    Kim

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thanks, when I was sitting in the car all the kids were pushing each other, fighting for the best view. It got loud until i had them line up in two rows, shortest in the front, tallest in the back, it worked well.

  32. Beverly says:

    You and your sister are excellent writers. It felt so close to being there while I read your post. Both of you are very mature and caring people. I know that God put you all there for a reason and you answered the call. I’m not sure I could have handled it as well but I would like to think I could have helped. You set an excellent example for so many. I know you have for me. You and Brett should be proud of yourselves. You’ve been strong, compassionate and full of grace. What a wonderful life you both have in front of you. God bless you.

  33. emmejae says:

    WOW! you made me feel like i was right there… i thank God for people like your family and the others you described. never stop writing to express your thoughts and feelings, it will help ease pain and expand joy :)

  34. Mary says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I think you are so fortunate to be in a family of heroes. Stay strong!

    • Colter Jonas says:

      I am so proud of my Mom and Dad for getting out of the car and going out there. Dad was 5 feet away from a burning fuel tank, and it was so hot the glass window in the back shattered from the heat. Dad told me that he was not worried at all. God gave him peace and he used that to get the job done.

  35. Bethany says:

    You should feel very proud that you and your family stopped and helped these families. It’s a hard thing for anyone to go through, especially someone your age. Your family and the families of the victims are in my prayers.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thanks, I am proud in a way but not exactly glad. I wish that we did not really have to be there and go through this, but I know that we would never of driven by. I also know God put us their for a reason, and it is amazing the chances that we were actually there. We had been trying to leave church for an hour and then when we finally did get out the door, we waited 5 more minutes so someone could see our new car. All that was part of Gods plan, and I know that if I am in that plan,(which I am) then i have nothing to fear.

  36. Jennifer says:

    Colter,
    The part where you said that you believe that everyone did things the way the Dennis would have wanted brought me to tears – I absolutely agree and that is very insightful for a young boy like yourself. Hold onto that thought about the situation as you search for peace about it. I also want to let you know that you and your sister did such an amazing job staying calm and taking care of your younger siblings.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thanks Jennifer, I never met Dennis, or even saw him. After talking with his family I was told that he had a heart attack 12 years ago. The family feels that every extra day that he had was a blessing from God.

  37. Daisy says:

    Hi Dear! That was very hard to read & digest!! Seeing it first hand had to be rougher! There are many times we, as citizens, are told not to move accident victims as it can cause more damage than the actual event. Clearly!!!! This was NOT the case here & getting away from a burning vehicle is paramount to survival!! Keep talking about this…. This will be with you a long time…. These things can be hard for us to understand.. At any age!! Thank you for your post.. Your quick actions and compassion were priceless to those in need. I was run over by a car while crossing a street (the driver jumped out). Long story but 2 things: I was never afraid during my accident nor was I capable of feeling pain. Our bodies are built that way to protect us & most likely, Dennis was not in pain.. Second, even when you feel helpless (as my family did through my 13 operations & 50 + hours of surgery), HOLDING MY HAND was the best comfort ever… Simple acts go a long way!! Hugs to you, your family & the survivors!!!!!!

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hey Daisy, It is funny that you mention your family holding your hand. When we were at Denny’s (comfort food after the accident) mom asked us what you can do to help people who are experiencing trauma. She said that one of the most important things is physical touch and constant conversation. This helped a lot with Drew and Sandy.

  38. Lori Croasdell says:

    You and your family are my heroes. I live here in Scott County and loved featuring your family in an article and on the front page of Feeling Good in Scott County. You all represent our county well and we are so blessed to know you all. Thank you for your heroism. So many could learn how to be involved Good Samaritans like you all were that day! God Bless you and thank you for your blog.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Thanks, we are so happy to be here in Scottsburg and looking forward to many more years here. As for “heroes” I try and follow what dad does and he try’s to follow what Jesus does, so it works out pretty well.

  39. Sharai Coffey says:

    Colter, i don’t know how old you are, but the way you wrote this blog is amazing. you wrote it with such an experienced journalist would write. you put all you feelings in to it. i know your parents are truly proud of you, as they are with all your brothers and sisters. what a way to grow up fast, seeing this accident.

    people are a strange lot, that some of them wouldn’t even stop. and the ones that your mother had to try to get them to stop so she could cross the road are reprehensible, and if they need help some day, then i pity for them.

    • Colter Jonas says:

      Hi Sharai, I am 15 years old and only starting to blog. I have done a few other older blogs and just started this one for schoolwork on writing and sharing my thoughts. Thank you for reading!

  40. Bonnie Zarkar says:

    Praying for all who were involved as you recover from the shock of this accident. There is a reason that God put you and your family there. He knew you would be a great help. Praise the Lord for your faithfulness!

  41. Leah says:

    What a horrible scene for you and your family to have come upon. But you were all placed there that day to help people who needed it. Your parents have taught you and your brothers and sisters well.
    I hope that the pain subsides for you and all who witnessed and helped. My prayers go out to the family and to all who all who helped.

  42. Donna Mechura says:

    Hi Cole,
    you’re awesome!
    love you!!!!

  43. Joan Mechura (Grandma) says:

    Hi Colter…what a wonderful blog. Your description of the accident was extremely informative and you were able to share your emotions as well. You are the incredible young man I knew you would become!!! All of you did the RIGHT thing and should find comfort in that. So many people turn their heads and ignore situations that truly need assistance. The Jonas family never turns away. Of this I am very proud. Mom and Dad have set a wonderful example for the 8 of you and nothing could make me happier than to see you and Brett following in their footsteps. I am confident the others will as well. I love you all!!! See you in a few weeks. Grandma

  44. Grammy says:

    Colter – oh, that were more in the world like you. Bless you, my grandson.
    Grammy