County EMS director describes heartbreaking crash which killed four children

‘These are things sometimes I don’t believe people are necessarily meant to see as human beings.’
Interstate 24 in Robertson County
Interstate 24 in Robertson County(WSMV)
Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 10:12 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2023 at 4:56 AM CDT
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Editor’s Note: Robertson County emergency officials initially reported six children were killed in the Sunday morning crash. Monday morning, the Tennessee Highway Patrol clarified two adults and four children died in the crash.

PLEASANT VIEW, Tenn. (WSMV) - “These are things sometimes I don’t believe people are necessarily meant to see as human beings.”

This is how Robertson County Emergency Medical Services Director/Chief Brent Dyer described the scene early Sunday morning on Interstate 24 West near the Springfield/Ashland City exit.

Seven people were ejected from a vehicle that overturned during a wreck before 2 a.m. Six people, two adults and four children, died as a result of the crash. One woman was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The children were lying helpless on the side of the road.

“Sometimes you have to swallow back a few tears and catch your breath just a little bit,” Dyer said.

Dyer said it started when a mass call went out around 2 a.m. for a major crash on I-24 West.

“From what we simply saw, it was a very severe rollover associated type crash and it appeared that multiple patients were ejected,” Dyer said.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said a Toyota Camry filled with four children, a woman and a man was found overturned on the side of the road. Troopers said that the woman and all four children were thrown from the car.

“By the time myself and my partner, a training officer, got there in an ambulance, they already had one critically injured viable patient loaded and needed immediate backup,” Dyer said.

Dyer said the critically injured patient was the woman. The man who was driving had minor injuries, but all four children died.

“It’s one of the hardest things we’ll ever do, as anybody in emergency services, is to realize that you can’t do something for a child,” Dyer said.

Dyer said two medical helicopters and more than four different county emergency crews rushed to the scene.

“After that patient was flown, care was relinquished to Life Flight, and at that point you do secondary searches and make that nobody was missed,” Dyer said.

Troopers said crews found the driver of a pickup truck crashed into a road barrier near the crash scene, but they have not said how the two events are connected.

“Something like this would shock anybody. We are still human,” Dyer said.

While doctors work on the woman, Dyer said his heart breaks for the children.

“They are the pure innocence of this world laying there and you want to do as much as you can for them,” he said.

Troopers have not said whether the passengers in the Camry were wearing seat belts or properly restrained, but there is a message Dyer is now begging other drivers to take in.

“I beg people to put your children in the proper restraint devices and I beg everyone driving on the road to think about the outcome of impatience and the outcome of intolerance,” Dyer said.