Deadly dust storm: Davis Monthan Squadron first to help

Deadly dust storm: Davis Monthan Squadron first to help

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ELOY, Ariz. -

Remember this scene from earlier this week? A deadly crash involving several cars and trucks after they ran into a dust storm.

Sadly, three people died in this accident. More than a dozen others were injured.

A group of airmen who were driving by were first on the scene. They went into the wreckage and the dust to help those injured.

Para jumpers from Davis Mountain's 48th Rescue Squadron train to jump into any type of situation where medical personnel are needed at a moment's notice.

Eight of those para jumpers never realized they'd be putting their training to work in their own backyard.

"We were just on our way back to Tucson and the dust storm on I-10 was pretty insane," says Wes.

That dust storm was to blame for this massive 19-car pileup on I-10 Tuesday afternoon. The para jumpers were just driving by when the accident happened.

"We noticed the accident and kind of slowed and kind of looked and at the same time we kind of noticed there was no EMS," says Lucas.

That's when they immediately jumped into action, in the thick of the blinding dust storm.

"You couldn't see anything. We had been here parachuting so we grabbed our goggles we had been jumping with, which was perfect so we could actually see what we were doing," says Wes.

"You don't really think about it you just go and do what you're trained to do," says Morgan.

With limited medical equipment, the airmen began to assess the situation.

"Get to the most critical people first, make sure they're stable," says Wes.

"One of the PJs used some plastic and part of a car door for a splint, others were using pipes to help extricate people," says Morgan.

They arrived about 15 minutes before emergency crews were able to get on scene. They treated more than 20 victims and were able to free five people from the wreckage.

"We could have been actually in that crash or we could have been in front of it or we could have missed it completely. It just so happened to be that exact time."

"Thank God we were driving by when we did," says Wes.

For many of those airmen, it was their first time every dealing with a real-life mass casualty situation.

Related story: 3 dead in massive pileup on I-10; victims' names released

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