Two good Samaritans help rescue 5-year-old from deadly I-5 crash - KPTV - FOX 12

Two good Samaritans help rescue 5-year-old from deadly I-5 crash

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Vietnam veterans Jim Ward and Michael Seymour (CNN) Vietnam veterans Jim Ward and Michael Seymour (CNN)
Photo: Oregon State Police Photo: Oregon State Police

Two Vietnam veterans are being called heroes after they helped pull a 5-year-old girl from the wreckage of a deadly crash along I-5.

Veterans Michael Seymour and Jim Ward were driving down I-5 and pulled over for a bathroom break at the Oak Grove rest area, then they saw a motorhome on fire, damaged and almost under a semi truck.

Trooper Eli Chambers was trying to put the car engine fire out, and the veterans jumped in to help.

"Asked him what he wanted me to do, and he pointed to the motorhome and said there's still people in there," said Seymour.

In the car, U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Michael Bunten, his wife's grandmother Sandra Bishop, and Bunten's 5-year-old daughter.

"I saw her. She was kind of down in a hole, and she was screaming 'that's my daddy, call 911, call 911' and it was just heart wrenching," said Seymour.

Seymour says he removed the window screen and crawled about half way in and began to remove the debris off of the little girls leg.

"She crawled up and she was looking at her daddy and she was screaming still. And I said 'come on baby, come to me,'" said Seymour.

Ward was navigating traffic away from the crash, and soon a crowd jumped in to help.

"Probably five or six all together," said Ward.

Little did the veteran's know they were working to help a fellow veteran. Bunten served six years in the Air Force, with two tours in Kurdistan and later in Kuwait to Afghanistan.

Bunten finished his service, and was in the beginning process of joining the Eugene Police Department.

Seymour and Ward said it's unfair to lose a life like Bunten's, but there's a silver lining.

"That little girl getting out of there is the silver lining," said Seymour.

In the end, the two veterans did what they think any veteran would do, pull over and help out those in need.

The 5-year-old girl was taken to a Springfield hospital and is in stable condition. The two adults who were with her in the motorhome died at the scene.

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