Officer recalls fatal Hwy. 67 crash; says witnesses didn't help - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Officer recalls fatal Hwy. 67 crash; says witnesses didn't help

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A deadly crash on Monday left a witness with questions about the behavior of other witnesses.

The crash happened along Hwy. 67 at Loop 12 in a closed HOV lane, leaving two people dead after they became trapped inside a burning car.

An off-duty Dallas police officer was first on the scene and says he's upset because of what he saw in the car and because he was one of the only witnesses who tried to save the victims.

“You see the flying debris as you would at NASCAR or something like that, and then that’s when I decided to get out of the vehicle and do what I could to help out,” said Lt. Anthony Williams with the Dallas Police Department.

Williams was behind the horrific wreck when he saw the car involved was on fire.

That’s when I started asking the gentleman in a white shirt who was standing there amongst the crowd of all these people, ‘Is there any way…does anybody have fire extinguishers? Just get me fire extinguishers,’” said Williams

After 30 years of police work, what Williams saw next left him almost unable to speak.

“You watched these folks in this car?” asked FOX 4’s Shaun Rabb.

“l just...literally be cremated, yes,” said Williams. “…To see the person writher, and you're trying to do your best to talk to ‘em and using fire extinguishers to try and extinguish a flame, and at one point, uh…it’s the first time I’ve ever prayed for someone to go ahead and pass, and I say that not to be disrespectful to the family.”

That wasn’t the only thing that bothered Williams.

“In my peripheral vision, in addition within a very close distance, you see people filming with their cell phones,” said Williams. “That’s what you see -- a person’s actually dying in front of their eyes, and rather than you making it a priority, putting yourself in the role of a first responder, just to try to help out in some way, you choose your priority to be filming somebody’s death.”

Williams says he even asked a woman to back up away from the car as she recorded at a close distance with her phone.

“You should try to help, even if it’s just a bottle of water you have sitting in your car to throw on a person,” said Williams. “You don’t know what comfort that would have brought, but like I said, at that point…I just prayed that God would go ahead and take them.”

Williams says he is very grateful to the man he spoke to wearing the white shirt, saying he assisted in asking other drivers for fire extinguishers.

Williams calls it the "perversion of social media" that would prompt people to try and get video before trying to save a burning victim.

The medical examiner has not been able identify the victims because the bodies were burned beyond recognition.


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