Wagoner Deputies Share Their Story Of The Fatal Konawa Bus Crash
KONAWA, Oklahoma - For the first time, two Wagoner County Sheriff’s Deputies are talking about the moment they jumped in to help after a fiery bus crash.
The bus was carrying members of the Konawa Middle School Softball team when a car hit it head on – killing a 12-year-old girl.
Deputies Kaleb Phillips and Anthony Martinez tell me they were driving back home from their training in Ada when they came over a hill, saw the bus in flames and immediately jumped into action.
The deputies say it was pure instinct to help when they saw the fiery crash.
"It just kicks in. It's automatic. The reason why we put this badge and gun on," said Phillips.
Deputies Kaleb Phillips and Anthony Martinez were heading North on Highway 377, two hours from Wagoner when a grey SUV passed them in a no pass zone forcing a semi-truck off the road. 30 seconds later they say they saw the fire and went to help.
"You know I just wanted to help those little girls. You know I didn't know who was on that bus. They don't know who I am. I just stepped into action and did what I had to do," said Phillips.
Phillips and Martinez were the first, first responders on the scene of the March 9th crash- and immediately started trying to rescue people on board.
"I remember trying to call 9-1-1 as deputy Phillips was running up there and it was just beeps, so at that time I just put my phone up and got to work,” said Martinez.
The deputies say this changed the way they look at their job knowing they can be called to action at any time or place.
"I remember saying to him, I'd pull that car over. And next thing you know what happened. I felt really bad about that. If I could go back and pull him over I would," said Martinez.
The deputies said earlier in the day at their training, their instructor asked them the question "why do you want to do this job?"
"When we saw that fire. All I could think of is why I want to do this job. It's to help save people. Help people that are in distress. And stuff like that, that didn't deserve it," said Martinez.