Off-duty Texas EMT injured in fatal 133-vehicle pileup recounts aiding other victims
JPS Hospital EMT Jesse Robinson, a former Oklahoma State football player, fractured his vertebrae in the crash but stayed at the scene to assist others
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
FORT WORTH, Texas — Jesse Robinson was on his way to JPS Hospital Thursday morning to begin his shift when he lost control of his car on an icy and slick I-35W in Fort Worth.
He was part of a 133-car pileup that claimed the lives of six people and injured another 65.
A former offensive linemen at Hurst's Bell High School and Oklahoma State, Robinson's EMT skills kicked in. He's been an EMT at JPS since the summer of 2019.
"It was about 6:20 in the morning and I was coming down 35 and I could see the red lights. I hit the brakes, but started to slide and nothing was slowing me down. I tried everything. I pulled over into the left guard rail to help slow me down," Robinson recalls. "I got out of my car and made sure I was all right. Then I went and checked on others."
Robinson went to the car in front of him where two men were trapped. He was able to help one man out, but the other was stuck. Robinson said they had to wait for the firefighters to cut him out.
Then Robinson noticed that this wasn't just a few cars.
It was far worse.
"I saw the size of the accident and it just kept going. This wasn't eight or so cars. This was a big deal," he said.
Robinson said he helped two or three people from their cars until firefighters and police arrived. Then he helped another 15 people get things from their cars and escort them to the side of the road.
He even carried off a dog.
"Helped people to the ambulance, really anything I could to help," Robinson said. "I just kept going. There was a group of people that were helping others. I must have been out there for an hour and a half."
Robinson fractured his vertebrae during the accident, but his adrenaline was so high that he didn't notice until two hours later.
Robinson started on the offensive line at OSU. Before that, he was a three-year starter at Bell. The 3-star offensive tackle, who graduated in 2013, was tagged as the No. 50 ranked tackle in the nation and also competed in track and field, wrestling, basketball and power lifting.
Following his graduation from OSU in 2017, he had planned on becoming a firefighter like his father, who works at DFW Airport, but changed paths and became a nurse instead.
"I care about people. I want to help any way I can," Robinson said. "I wanted to be on the front lines. It's a thrill being able to save someone's life. That's why I stayed in the medical field."
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