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Emergency Workers Participating In OSU Parade First To Respond To Tragedy

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The moments following Saturday's crash showed a horrific scene. But if you look beyond the injuries, the shocked faces, the scattered debris, there are the helpers. The moments following Saturday's crash showed a horrific scene. But if you look beyond the injuries, the shocked faces, the scattered debris, there are the helpers.
The 179th Infantry was participating in the parade. They had just finished marching and about 30 soldiers were still in the area when the crash happened. The 179th Infantry was participating in the parade. They had just finished marching and about 30 soldiers were still in the area when the crash happened.
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Five people remain in critical condition after Saturday’s crash during the OSU Homecoming parade. One of those victims is still clinging to life. But many say the casualty list may have been much longer if it weren’t for the emergency responders immediately on scene.

The moments following Saturday's crash showed a horrific scene. But if you look beyond the injuries, the shocked faces, the scattered debris, there are the helpers.

“I have an ICU nurse that was there. I have a counselor that was there,” said Capt. Caleb Emde with the Oklahoma National Guard. 

The 179th Infantry was participating in the parade. They had just finished marching and about 30 soldiers were still in the area when the crash happened. They started making their way to scene, but didn't realize the seriousness until they walked closer and heard the screaming.

“That’s when they went into a full sprint and ran to the sound of gunfire, as you might say,” said Emde.

Special Coverage: OSU Homecoming Tragedy

Emde had already returned to the armory a few minutes away, but was almost immediately back on scene.

“You could just tell that what happened there was truly a catastrophic tragedy,” he said.

Jason Louthan is the training chief with the Seiling Fire Department. He and his father were feet away watching the parade. He didn't want to talk about what he saw on camera, but says he and his father immediately rushed in and started treating victims.

Louthan said it was still difficult to return to the corner where a memorial continues to grow.

“It’s pretty emotional for the whole town,” said Dolly Keiper, a Stillwater resident who was vising the memorial on Tuesday.

Even for Emde, who served in a warzone, thought this was different. This was personal. But so was the response.

“That’s teamwork. That’s what you like to see. That’s the Oklahoma Standard, Oklahoma Strong. And on Saturday, it was definitely more than a hashtag.”

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