The Christmas Eve bus crash that killed four people and injured dozens is something a BC family will never forget.
Bill, Brooklyn and Bonnie Gerber were traveling to Kelowna from Abbotsford to be with their family on Christmas Day when they came across the accident.
“We couldn’t drive through, we had to stop,” said Bill Gerber, who was with his wife and daughter at the time.
“At first my wife went back to see what she could do, then my daughter Brooklyn came back.”
4 dead, several injured in BC bus crash on Christmas Eve: RCMP
His daughter Brooklyn is trained in first aid and Bonnie, his wife, is a retired nurse.
“Whoever was ahead of us, we asked what do you need, where is your pain, what can we do for you,” Bonnie said.
“The first thing I thought of was, it’s like a bad scene in the movie where I close my eyes, but I can’t close my eyes,” Brooklyn said. “We did what we could giving them hot stuff, my mom was hugging a lot of people. Dad and I were saying it’s okay, it’s okay, you have to call someone.
Brooklyn quickly ran to the car and grabbed extra blankets and warm clothes and handed them out to people who were cold. She also helped people call their families, so they could let them know they were okay.
“A lot of their phones were on the bus so I gave them my phone and they were able to call their family and say hello, but I won’t be in Abbottsford tonight,” Brooklyn said.
Bonnie tended to those who appeared to be seriously injured, dressing wounds and wrapping cuts with towels, waiting for emergency crews to arrive.
The trio reassured people that help was on the way.
“There was a lady who was traveling with her mother and her mother was stuck on the bus and she approached the bus and saw that she had passed,” Bill said.
“And she left sobbing, sobbing just sincere sobs. So I just came over to her and hugged her and this woman Brandy also came from the other side and hugged her.
“We thought a lot about what we could have done better or what we could have done more.”
Half an hour later, the Gerber family got back into their car and continued on their way to Kelowna. Brooklyn has been able to stay in touch with many families thanks to her willingness to let them use her phone.
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