Longview Nurse Helps Accident Victims

A Longview nurse helped out in a pinch, at the scene of a massive highway crash in Gregg County.  The crash happened just before 6:00 p.m. Friday night.  DPS troopers say an 18-wheeler lost control in a construction lane on I-20 between Kilgore and Longview, setting off an enormous chain reaction.  At least 15 vehicles were involved.

Cars, trucks, and SUV's were left smashed in, rolled over, and flipped as 32 people were injured.  Stephanie Hooks, a registered nurse, was driving through the area when the accident happened.  Hooks along with several other motorists, took it upon herself to immediately began triage for the injured.

"Your first reaction is that there are fatalities," said Hooks.  "As a nurse, it's just an automatic response that you would respond to something like that, so I did.  People were getting out of their cars kind of dazed and confused."  Hooks immediately began triage for the injured.

"It was just catastrophic, just devastation, just vehicles mangled all up and down that whole east side," said Hooks.  Rescuers rushed to cut a trapped mother out of her vehicle that ran right underneath the back of the 18-wheeler still alive.

"I kept seeing cars get hit behind me, so I just kept driving on the shoulder because I didn't want to get hit again," says Bossier City driver Terry  McCann.  Investigators say rain and speed was the likely cause of the pile-up.

"The cars started slowing down," said DPS Trooper Bob Lindley.  "It was like a chain reaction. They just started running in to each other."  One boy suffered a cracked skull in the accident. According to DPS, one person remains in serious condition tonight.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com