Opelika, Ala. (WRBL) – A group of Opelika teachers now share a forever bond after a horrific car accident in Washington D.C. The crash pinned two of the teachers under a vehicle. Now, nearly a month after the crash, the teachers are sharing their story for the first time.
The teachers were attending a training conference back in April. The teachers were walking back from lunch when a car accident sent a vehicle crashing into their group along the sidewalk. Opelika teachers, Ginger Weygand and Kathy Stanley, were hit and pinned under the car.
“I do remember putting my arm up, and I was screaming get it off me get it off me. It was very hot. I can’t even describe the pain and the panic of not knowing. However, God saw fit for both us to be here for a reason,” explained Kathy Stanley.
Teacher Cindy Poteet remembers hearing the screams and realizing her two friends were trapped under the vehicle.
“I heard screaming and saw Kathy’s legs sticking out from under the car. So, I got down on the sidewalk and looked over and saw Ginger. I had no idea Ginger was even there until that moment. So, I put one hand on Kathy, and I grabbed the back of Ginger’s ankle. I told both of them, we are here, help is on the way and we are not going to leave you,” said Poteet.
Within seconds after the impact, a crowd of strangers rushed in to help. Acting together, they lifted the car freeing those who were underneath and saving their lives.
“Next thing I saw, was feet. Feet were everywhere, and I felt the car lift, dip down for a second and then lift back up,” explained Stanley.
“I remember sticking my hand out so someone would see me. Then the car lifted and was put down on my back and all my air rushed out of me. Then, they picked up the car again. It makes you realize there is so much good in people. They didn’t have time to think, they were acting on the innate good that’s inside of them,” explained Weygand.
Kathy’s right arm was mangled from shoulder to fingertips with broken bones and nerve damage. She’s had three surgeries and faces a long recovery to get back the use of her right arm. Ginger suffered a fractured hand, severe burns on her back, bumps, and bruises.
They say laughter, tears, and prayers have kept them going. They witnessed two miracles, survived against all the odds and saw the power of strangers acting together as one.
“We do have a special bond that will last an eternity,” said Stanley.
The teachers say the Opelika City School family has been a rock for them. They are grateful for the care they received at the Washington D.C. hospitals. They believe the strangers who helped lift the car are heroes.