GSU students become heroes amidst car accident

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  • Photo courtesy of: Racheal Lamb

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Lauren Gorla

Five friends from Georgia Southern University were driving back late Monday afternoon for the start of another week of school, but their trip was brought to a halt by a horrific car accident that should have killed them.

“The doctors said that it was literally a miracle we didn’t die.  I don’t really believe in God but God was with us; something was with us,” Racheal Lamb, junior biology major, said.

A boy and girl from GSU stopped along the highway to help those in the accident but those injured were not able to get their names before driving off in the ambulances.

Four of the passengers are current students and the fifth is an alumnus, graduating last spring.

After a weekend camping trip in Blue Ridge, the friends were driving back to Statesboro and were about 25 minutes out of Macon when the accident occurred.

The passengers all recognized that the car had been rocking on the way up to Blue Ridge and was still rocking on the way to Statesboro.

“At one point, we were in the middle lane and I needed to get into the left lane and so once I turned left, it started to rock really badly,” Cristy York, sophomore biology major and driver of the vehicle, said. “Then I realized it was rocking a lot more than it had before, so I tried to turn the wheel right just a little bit but because of the momentum it swerved way too far right.”

In about 20 seconds, the car turned so that the left side faced the road and then went airborne, flipping two times before coming to a stop upside down.

Chandler Mitchell, junior psychology major, was thrown from the car but managed to walk away from the accident with a sprained neck and road rash covering three-fifths of her body.

“We slid two hundred ninety-four feet down the highway and I did not have a seatbelt, so after the car finished flipping I slid out the window and slid another ten to twelve feet on the asphalt,” Mitchell said.

No other cars were hit in the accident and all of the passengers walked away from the accident with minimal injuries such as a strained neck and skin graft surgery.

However, a dog owned by Lamb and Mitchell that was traveling in the car did not survive the accident.

“I remember my dog hitting me and barking and I remember lying on the ground, not knowing what had just happened,” Lamb said. “I got out and I saw my dog had died, and I started to scream and I thought I was dying.”

It was at that point that the two GSU students walked up to Lamb and tried to calm her down.

The girl had long, curly blonde hair and was wearing a blue GSU pocket shirt.  The boy was very tall and had on bright colored clothing.

“In my head I kept thinking I was going to die,” Lamb said. “The girl held my hand and told me it was going to be okay and to calm down and to breathe.”

The boy, a biology major with a pre-medical concentration like Lamb, tried to readjust her focus by asking her about her classes, particularly about how hard genetics was, Lamb said.

“I did not talk to them as much as Racheal did but the guy did give me his sunglasses because I was just standing there with my face all bloody,” Mitchell said.

The couple waited at the scene until the ambulances arrived and took those injured to the hospital.  No one was able to catch either of their names before leaving the scene.

“They saved my life.  I know if I hadn’t stopped panicking, I would’ve had a panic attack and I didn’t want anybody to touch me but they held my hand and made me stop and breathe,” Lamb said. “I would tell them that they are their own kind of heroes.”

Lamb is now working to find the couple and thank them for staying by her side through such a traumatic event.

Lamb said, “I really want to find them because what they did not a lot of people would’ve done.  And they were in front of us. People like them are what inspire people like me to do what I want to do in life.”