Making a Difference: 30 Marines help family in flipped SUV

The family SUV flipped, injuring everyone inside.
The family SUV flipped, injuring everyone inside.

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - In the small town of Luverne, you'll find Terry Connors who did a mighty big thing over the weekend and it didn't even happen in Crenshaw County.

"Do I think I'm a hero? Absolutely not," Connors said emphatically.

The story of what Connors did and two bus loads of Marine reservists can be told in still-photographs for this story. Connors' fellow bus driver sent WSFA 12 News nearly 30 photos, all showing different angles of the crash scene.

The location? Interstate 20 in North Augusta, South Carolina, Sunday morning. A family of 5; mom, dad, two girls and a boy crashed. "Their left rear tire blew," said Connors.

Terry Connors was the lead driver of the two buses, bringing the Marines back home to Alabama after their annual training in North Carolina.

The family's Yukon rolled and came to a stop in the median. 20 cars behind, Connors never saw it but knew something had happened.

"I noticed all the brake lights in front of me. Traffic stopped,' he said.

Within minutes the uncertainty of it all became clear.

"Bodies literally scattered on the ground," Connors said.

Instinct and training took over. It would be a good 10 minutes or so before local emergency personnel arrived. In the meantime, the medical corpsmen administered first aid and the Marines handled the traffic.

"To give you an idea how violent the accident was, the driver's wallet was found in front of the vehicle," said Connors.

Five injuries. The dad in the family Connors says probably suffered the more serious injury.

"We had to extricate him. He had an open wound and I suspect a close head wound and a broken or dislocated shoulder," said Connors.

By now South Carolina medical personnel showed up which meant the time had come for the Marines and Connors to pull back and let the emergency folks take over. It was then says Connors when the reality of what they had done sunk in.

"I think it was divine Providence in all honesty. I mean what are the chances of having 30 Marines, all medically trained right there," said Connors.

Back home in Luverne, Terry Connors insists he and his Marine reservists were not the heroes that day on the interstate. He'll just tell you 'it was the right thing to do.'

That family of 5, however, will absolutely say Connors and company made a difference, a life-saving difference.

Terry Connors says he never got the family's name but got the impression before leaving the scene all would be okay.

If you know of someone who making a difference in your community, email WSFA 12 News reporter Bryan Henry at

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