PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One survivor of a deadly multi-car crash in Townsend, Delaware on Friday is speaking about the chaotic moments before the impact and also about the trauma of surviving a horrific incident.
Moments before a Ford F-350 pickup truck slammed into a minivan, killing five members of the same family, it plowed into 24-year-old Brian Kern’s Mercury Sable.
Kern had been driving back to Bethlehem from a weeklong vacation in Virginia Beach.
The wreck happened around 4 p.m. Friday on Route 1 when, for unknown reasons, 44-year-old Alvin Hubbard crossed over the grassy center median and started driving the wrong direction.
Hubbard and his passenger sustained minor injuries and have since been released from the hospital. No charges have been filed at this time, and authorities say the investigation is ongoing.
“I see out of my left eye the car crazily swerving out of control on the grass median,” Kern told Eyewitness News. “It’s about to be a T-bone and I veer to the right as much as I can. He catches the back left of my car and misses my door. The glass shatters.”
Kern says he didn’t realize in the moment but witnesses told him his car had spun multiple times before coming to a rest on the median. He credits bystanders for rushing to his aid.
FULL INTERVIEW: Driver Of Other Car Involved In Deadly Crash In Delaware Speaks Out
The pickup truck, though, continued driving in the wrong direction and collided with a mini-van.
“I looked back and it was like a war scene,” Kern said.
Authorities have identified the victims in the van as 61-year-old Navy veteran Audie Trinidad and his four daughters: 20-year-old Kaitlyn, 17-year-old Danna and 13-year-olds Melissa and Allison. Their mother, Mary Rose, who was riding in the passenger seat, is the sole survivor.
The family, from Teaneck, New Jersey, was returning from a beach vacation.
“I was sitting in the ER and my heart was just pouring out to them when I heard about it,” said Kern. “Anyone involved with the Trinidad family, give a loving hand to this mother, she needs it more than ever.”
Kern says he is now a proponent of seatbelt safety, as he believes that may have helped save his life.
Authorities say the four girls were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.
A GoFundMe page for funeral expenses and hospital costs has raised more than $200,000.