Crashes Kill 7 in Ala., Penn.
The Associated Press
Jul. 11, 1998
Two adults and three children were killed when their sports utility vehicle ran off Interstate 65 north of Mobile, Ala., and crashed into a tree before bursting into flames.
Killed were Terrell Stroman, 30, of Norfolk, Va., and three of his children, two 7-year-old twins and a 5-year-old. The other victim was a 58-year-old woman believed to be the children's grandmother. The children's mother, Bonnie Stroman, was critically injured in Friday morning's accident.
Rick Gibson was one of those who stopped to help.
``We started to beat the fire with some of the clothes they had in the truck,'' he said. Two tractor-trailers were stopped and their fire extinguishers and shovels used to battle the flames.
``We realized we were helpless against the fire, so we started trying to get the people out,'' he said. ``I remember thinking `If it blows up, I'm just going blow up with it because I'm going to get this little girl out.'''
Mrs. Stroman was holding her son in her lap.
``They were trapped and the fire was getting real close, in fact it was burning her,'' Gibson said. ``She started screaming about the fire burning her.''
Also Friday, a 15-passenger van loaded with 23 people, including many children, crashed on Interstate 80 near Scotun, Pa., killing two people and injuring six.
The driver apparently lost control of the van, which hit another vehicle, slammed into an embankment and flipped onto its side. The group was returning to New York City from an amusement park, according to broadcast reports.