Witnesses did what they could at crash - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Witnesses did what they could at crash

June 1, 2006

Doerun -- A handful of people, including a nearby homeowner and a farmer, witnessed the horrific crash Thursday morning.

Most say they first heard the chopper, and then saw it flying low, near the towers. They say they heard a loud boom, and saw burning pieces of the chopper and the tower falling to earth.

At least three people managed to get close to the crash site in an attempt to help the surviving soldier.

Our cameras weren't allowed close enough to capture the sight those residents saw. They'll always remember it. "It was a frightening site," said Doerun farmer Joe McCarty, when he heard the chopper fly over through the clouds.

"It made a real bad noise, and I looked up, and debris was coming all out from the TV tower, and falling down around," said McCarty. "I just sorta ducked down, because I didn't know which way it was all really going, and the biggest portion went on out there in a wheat patch and busted into flames."

Farmer James Sellars was not far away, waiting in his truck for some co-workers, when he heard the loud boom. "I seen the pieces going to the ground, and the different parts, and one part was on fire whenever it started to the ground."

Sellars took off toward the flaming debris, scattered across the field. "I went back up into the field, and there was a guy laying there, deceased. There was girl coming running up and said there was a survivor."

That lady was Angela Tyner, who at home when the heard the crash. She and Sellars spotted the body of another soldier.

They were shocked to see the surviving soldier sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck. "He had some injuries on his face and he was complaining about his left leg," said Sellars.

But the young soldier was alert and talking. "They asked him who was the first president and all this stuff, and he was alert and responding, and he was telling us where he was from and all that."

Sellars says it was nothing short of a miracle that the soldier was alive. "I figured all of 'em was gone be deceased whenever I showed up."

Unfortunately, four of the five soldiers aboard the helicopter were killed.

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