'All of a sudden -- crash, bang, boom'

Posted Thursday, Apr. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Blood needed

Carter Blood Care is seeking blood donations, saying preferred levels were already low even prior to an Irving bus crash that injured 41 people.

"It would be great to help replenish the supplies. We were already at less than preferred levels," said Yesenia Olide.

Olide said Carter Blood Care supplies 90 percent of blood products to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is the sole provider for Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where 15 of the those injured in Thursday's bus crash were taken.

Though in need of all blood types, Olide said the agency is seeking 200 O negative blood donors daily for the next two weeks.

"When a trauma victim comes into the hospital, they don't have time to (blood) type them right away," Olide said. "If they're needing, O negative is what they're going to get because that is compatible with most blood types."

Those interested in donating blood can contact Carter Blood Care at 1-800-366-2834 or www.carterbloodcare.org.

Passenger information

Family members seeking information on bus passengers can call 972-721-4636.

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One moment, Dan Risik was chatting with his friend.

Seconds later, he was on his side, trapped under a female passenger amid a sea of screaming people and blood.

"I couldn't move because there was a lady on top of me and she couldn't move," said Risik, 73, of Fort Worth. "She was really buckled in there real bad and my foot was caught under her. People were hollering and screaming and there was blood all over the place."

Risik considers himself one of the lucky ones.

Though he suffered a bloody nose and sore back, Risik said he was otherwise unscathed in the Thursday morning bus crash in Irving that left two passengers dead and 41 others injured.

The bus, its passengers comprised of mostly retirees and senior citizens, had been headed to the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Okla., for a day trip.

"This lady charters a bus quarterly to go to Choctaw," said Risik, who has been on previous such trips. "A lot of the people know each other from previous trips. Others bring friends and family."

Risik and his friend, Ken, had been among passengers picked up for the daytrip to the Choctaw Casino at 8 a.m. at the Walmart at Eastchase Parkway and Interstate 30 in Fort Worth. At 8:30 a.m., other passengers boarded at a second stop at a shopping center in Bedford, he said.

"Before we left, the bus driver got up and introduced himself," Risik said. "He's been driving for 30 years so he was very, very experienced to say the least."

Risik said that he had no idea what caused the crash, but that a female passenger told him after the wreck that she believed the bus had a tire blowout.

"We were moving right along," Risik said. "All of a sudden -- crash, bang, boom."

Risik said he had been seated in an aisle seat near the middle of the bus when it crashed.

"All I know is all of a sudden the bus started to shake and rattle real bad like a crash sound," said Risik. "The next thing I knew we were laying on our side and people were hollering and screaming on top of each other."

Risik said he was eventually freed after rescue crews arrived and pulled the woman off him.

"It took a while. It's not like they arrive and everybody walks off and gets off the bus," Risik said. "It took a while to peel people off of each other and get them out. The front was wide open but there was so much wreckage and what have you, most of the people I think were evacuated through escape hatches in the ceiling."

Soon after, Risik's sister called.

"My sister called from Vermont. She had seen it on TV," Risik said. "I called some people and let them know I was OK and not to be concerned."

Eventually, Risik said he and the other "walking wounded" were taken to Baylor Medical Center for precautionary X-rays.

He said his friend, who had been seated next to him by the window, suffered a hurt leg and right shoulder in the wreck.

"He was on the bottom when it fell on the right side," Risik said. "I guess he's lucky, too. He could have been killed."

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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