A Frisco man remains in critical condition at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas after surviving a fiery crash on Interstate 20 Friday afternoon.
Wyndell Greene Sr., 34, was badly burned in the wreck. His wife and two children were killed.
"It was pretty horrific," said Danny Hale, 49. The truck driver was traveling westbound on Interstate 20 between Terrell and Canton Friday when he saw the accident unfold in the eastbound lanes.
“All of a sudden there was a little bit of white smoke that looked like brake smoke,” he said. "Then a big explosion and a black column of smoke coming up."
Hale and other drivers immediately ran to the Greene’s burning Toyota 4Runner sport utility vehicle.
Hale relied on his training as volunteer firefighter for the town of Gatesville, outside Waco, and began fighting the flames with a fire extinguisher.
It was clear that Lakeysha Greene had died along with her children — Wesley, 4, and Wyndell II, 3.
Witnesses assumed Wyndell Greene Sr. had passed as well — until he moved.
“I seen his arm move,” Hale said. “I grabbed it and gave it a pull... we all got him out — Mr. Greene — and got him on a blanket and dragged him to safety.”
Paramedics rushed Greene, a financial planner, to Parkland Hospital with third-degree burns on his back.
“I guess the one thing that was going through my mind was I wouldn't want to burn alive; we got to get this guy out,” Hale said. “I think that was the feeling of everyone there — we can’t let this man burn alive.”
The Greenes were planning to spend the holiday weekend with their family in Louisiana. They were driving eastbound on I-20 around 6:30 p.m. on Friday when a tractor-trailer slammed into their SUV in heavy traffic, police said.
Witnesses said the rig’s driver, Charles Moody, 40, of Mississippi, tried, but couldn’t stop.
White said it’s unclear why Moody wasn’t able to stop in time.
Senior Cpl. Robert White of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the Greenes' SUV then rammed into a Toyota Corolla, which struck another 18-wheeler.
Seven people were injured, including an Arlington family in the Corolla.
“The other three aren’t here anymore, and he’s fighting for his life,” said Vincent Dayries, a close family friend of the Greenes.
Dayries’ children grew up with the Greenes’ kids. They all attended a nearby elementary school.
He said the family lived the American dream. Both parents were raised in the rural South, met in college, and worked hard to afford a nice home in Frisco and send their kids to good schools, Dayries said.
“They wanted to give their kids more than what they had — like any other parent — and they were succeeding,” Dayries said.
He now worries about Wyndell Greene recovering without his wife and children.
“I'm going to try and talk him into making it himself,” he said with tears in his eyes, “because I don't know if I would want to make it myself — I just don't know.”