HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-A survivor of a horrific highway wreck in Marshall County spoke about the fatal crash that killed four people for the first time Wednesday in an exclusive interview with WHNT News 19.
21-year-old Trey Brothers was thrown onto Highway 431 last Sunday after a pickup truck carrying him and eight other people collided with another vehicle and wrecked. The Gadsden resident said he was sitting in the bed of the pickup with his fiance and three other people, and that the last thing he remembered was talking about a planned afternoon swim at Honeycomb Creek in Lake Guntersville.
"Just talking going down the road, and I wake up in the grass, that's all I remember," said Brothers, who suffered multiple injuries and is now in stable condition. "It was that quick and that instant...I just woke up, truck was flipped, bodies were scattered."
Brothers said he does not recall the crash or what may have triggered it. His fiance, 19-year-old Beth Kuhn, remains in critical condition in a room not far from where Brothers is staying at Huntsville Hospital. Family members told WHNT News 19 that Kuhn suffered massive injuries in the crash, and is currently paralyzed from the chest down.
"Only thing I was worried about was trying to find Beth, that was my only concern," said Brothers. "I ask them [hospital staff] every day, probably two or three times a day, how she's doing, can I go see her, is she awake."
Brothers said he and his fiance had come along at the invitation of his friend Blake Keener, who was also riding in the pickup bed. Keener died from injuries in the wreck. Brothers recalled a fateful conversation he had his with longtime friend shortly before the crash.
"We were going to go to the T-pier in Guntersville, and they wanted to go to Honeycomb," said Brothers. "So Blake said 'y'all just ride with us and we'll go to Honeycomb'...It's hard to believe. Sometimes I just got to sit there and think about it two or three times before I know it has happened."
Brother's injuries include a broken pelvis and hip, punctured lung, and torn rotator cuff. Family members are keeping him company throughout the day, including his fiance's father, Rick Kuhn.
"There's many, many families that were completely upset and devastated by this wreck, and our hearts go out to them," said Mr. Kuhn. "But we have to see to the survivors."
Family members have set up a joint relief fund for Trey Brothers and Beth Kuhn. If you want to help, simply stop by any branch of Wells Fargo, mention Trey and Beth's name and drop off your donation. All proceeds will go to their medical bills and therapy.
State troopers have yet to determine the cause of the crash, but confirmed that all of the victims were not wearing seatbelts. The wreck happened around 2:40 p.m. Sunday when a pickup truck being driven by 19-year-old Ryan Lawson collided with a Chevy Cobalt in the northbound lanes of Highway 431, just north of Guntersville. Lawson was killed in the crash, along with 21-year-old Blake Keener, 18-year-old Ruben Pacheco and 13-year-old Maegan Cordell. Five other people were seriously injured.