On Sunday, we are hearing the stories of heroism from the scene of the deadly crash during the OSU homecoming parade on Saturday. For one Stillwater family, they had a hero in orange.
Collett Campbell and Taylor Collins didn't know each until Saturday, now they share a special bond.
“You can ask anyone, that's a big tradition for me to go to the parade,” said Campbell, who attended the parade this year with her family.
“The parade is always such an awesome atmosphere,” said Collins, who was in the parade as OSU’s Pistol Pete.
Collett and her family are big OSU fans. Her three boys are all Pistol Pete partners.
This year, though, they did something unusual. The family didn’t sit together at the parade. Instead, they scattered in other areas.
“My son had just walked out to the corner,” Campbell said.
Campbell's 12-year-old son, Alleyn, was among those hit when a car barreled through the parade crowd. He was comforted by strangers.
“I call them heroes and angels, to be there until I could get there,” she said.
Finished with the parade, Collins noticed a commotion down the street.
“We could tell something had happened, something not good had happened,” he said.
So, he made his way down to the scene.
“As you can imagine, it was very chaotic,” he remembered. “It's the kind of thing people try to reenact in movies sometimes. It was real life but there were so many people calm and collected, controlling the situation.”
Then, he was waved over to help. He left his Pistol Pete head and gear on the sidewalk to make room in his truck for victims. He put a young victim in the back seat of his truck and Alleyn in the truck bed then rushed them to Stillwater Medical Center.
“It was real special that I was in the right place,” he said.
Alleyn has a broken leg, a concussion and multiple cuts and bruises but is expected to recover. On Sunday, he got some special visitors, from OSU president Burns Hargis and, of course, Collins.
"Although Alleyn doesn't know me, he's familiar with Pistol Pete; I guess that was a comfort for him,” Collins said.
“My kids have grown up with Pistol Pete their whole life,” Campbell said. “I told my son, you know not everyone gets to drive with Pistol Pete to the hospital, so you're pretty special.”
And Collins thinks Alleyn is pretty special, too.
“He's got a strong heart and is going to be all right,” he said. “We just pray for the families that did lose loved ones. For that to happen at the end, it was an eerie feeling but what makes Stillwater great, what makes OSU great, is people pulling together and helping each other out.”
The other victim Collins transported was treated and released.