Colorado family thanks good Samaritans after Nebraska crash


DENVER — A Thornton family wanted to publicly thank the good Samaritans who came to their aid, after their truck and trailer crashed on the way to a camping trip in Nebraska.

The Russell family of five was heading to a family reunion on July 29, traveling near Lake McConaughy in Nebraska.

They said a driver veered into their lane, causing their truck and attached fifth wheel to swerve and crash.

“There was a little hill and we were going up and the guy was coming down at 60 miles per hour and he veered into our lane and my dad tried to go to the side to avoid him,” 13-year-old Devin Russell said.

Devin was in the truck with his dad and brother.

“And then the fifth wheel got caught and we started flipping,” he said.

His mother Stacie, 10-year-old sister Anna, and the family’s 3 dogs were inside the family’s fifth wheel.

“I hit the stove and the table, and I blacked out,” 10-year-old Anna said.

Amazingly, everyone was OK. And amidst the chaos, the family noted the calm voices of strangers who were the first to respond.

“How many people were in the trailer?” Anna said they asked. “How many people were in the truck? Did you guys have any pets with you?”

The Russell’s had three dogs with them and they quickly realized one of them, an 11-week-old husky named Cinnamon was missing. It was hours before they found her.

“We’re very lucky to be here and alive,” Anna said. “And the dogs are alive as well. That just amazes me.”

Anna and Devin’s mother, Stacie, said she couldn’t comprehend the careless actions of the driver who took off. She had little hope police would find that driver.

But she wanted to publicly recognize the good Samaritans who stepped in.

“Because I know a lot of people don’t get thanked a lot,” Stacie said. “We go about our daily life like its no big deal. And it’s something that I felt like I needed to do to say, ‘hey thanks.'”

“We thank them very much,” Anna added.

But when Stacie tracked one of the good Samaritans down, she said she just couldn’t believe it.

“And it was like ‘you live where?'” she said.

It turns out one of the Russell’s angels that day, when they crashed hundreds of miles from home, lives just a few miles away near their Thornton, Colorado neighborhood.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Stacie said. “And they will hold a very special place.”

FOX31 spoke to the Good Samaritan by phone Wednesday. She was happy to be acknowledged, saying she was just doing the right thing.