FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — When Lucas Bishop first drove up to the scene of the Sunday morning car wreck in Riley, Indiana, he wasn’t sure what exactly he was seeing.
“Part of the main reason I got out of my car was trying to figure out what it was, because I thought lightning had struck a tree,” Bishop said.
It wasn’t lightning; rather, it was a car with five ISU students inside. The vehicle had veered off the roadway as State Road 46 turned into Main Street in Riley, hit a tree and caught fire.
Bishop immediately sprung into action, and soon after, another driver who had driven up to the scene, Christian Clingerman, joined him in his efforts to free two people, Omarion Dixon and John Moore, from the vehicle and move them to safety.
“I don’t know, I’ve always had a super big heart,” Clingerman said, “If it was me in that situation I would hope that someone would do that for me.”
Bishop, a Marshall native, and Clingerman, a Terre Haute South High School graduate, were able to save Dixon and Moore from the wreckage before officers got on scene.
Tragically, the other three students in the car, Christian Eubanks, Caleb VanHooser and Jayden Musili were pronounced dead on the scene.
Eubanks and VanHooser were freshmen on the ISU football team and Musili was a sophomore at ISU after going through the Pathway to Blue program last year. Dixon and Moore are also members of the ISU football team.
“For the families of Caleb, Christian and Jayden, it’s just, I can’t imagine having to go through that,” Bishop said. “I think it’s really awesome that people are putting fundraisers together for the families. I mean, that’s really awesome, and how the school’s coming together.”
As Dixon and Moore begin their recovery journey at a hospital in Indianapolis, Bishop and Clingerman are facing their own healing process.
“It’s never really left my mind honestly,” Clingerman shared. “Even after the night it happened, I went home and just broke down and it’s been like that almost every night since then.”
Bishop said phone conversations with ISU Football Head Coach Curt Mallory, Offensive Line Coach Tyler Funk and others have helped.
“They’ve been really nice,” Bishop said. “People did exactly what I think you would hope they would do and everyone really followed through with it and checked up.”
Clingerman also spoke with Coach Mallory on the phone after the football staff became aware of the identities of the young men who saved Dixon and Moore.
“It was reassuring a little bit to kind of know that they’re doing a little bit better,” Clingerman said. “And to know that they’re somewhat stable. They kind of went over just how they’re doing and all that.”
Both men say the biggest help in their healing process is the fact that Dixon and John are healing, too, and that one day they’ll be able to meet the two young men whose lives they saved.
“I think that’s going to be something that’s going to help quite a bit,” Bishop said. “It’s the positive side of it and just being able to see them and talk with them will be good.”
“I just want to sit down and have a long conversation with them,” Clingerman said with a smile. “I don’t know exactly what will be said then, but I just want to be able to see them and know that, yeah, they’re okay.”
ISU is planning a campus memorial service for Eubanks, VanHooser and Musili on Monday.