Survivor recounts deadly Huntsville church bus crash - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Survivor recounts deadly Huntsville church bus crash

Austin McBride was a chaperone for Mount Zion Baptist Church during the fatal bus crash. (Source: Austin McBride) Austin McBride was a chaperone for Mount Zion Baptist Church during the fatal bus crash. (Source: Austin McBride)
Sarah Harmening on the Mount Zion Baptist Church bus before the fatal crash (Source: Austin McBride) Sarah Harmening on the Mount Zion Baptist Church bus before the fatal crash (Source: Austin McBride)
ATLANTA, GA (WAFF) -

A man who was on the bus that crashed in Atlanta, Georgia is speaking out.

Austin McBride was a chaperone for Mount Zion Baptist Church's mission trip to Africa. When the bus crashed into two other vehicles, 17-year-old Sarah Harmening was killed and several others were injured.

READ MORE: Student killed, multiple injured in Huntsville church bus crash in Atlanta

McBride said the events all happened so fast that it’s almost impossible to explain exactly what happened Thursday.

"It was just mass confusion, mass chaos. It was like a war scene," McBride said.

He said he could tell something “didn’t feel right.” Before long, McBride said the bus was airborne. He said he braced his neck to avoid breaking it and held on to his girlfriend to make sure she was safe too. Next thing he knew, he was on the ground.

He said he stayed conscious throughout the entire experience.

"I just remember something not feeling right. It almost felt like we were going down the tip of a roller coaster. There was screaming. There was crying. There was smoke. There was blood," he said.

McBride spent the next amount of time hugging students and showing them love “in the midst of wreckage and tragedy.”

“My first reaction was to pray to God that first of all, everyone was going to be OK, and, you know, to just respond. It was a fight or flight sort of thing. For those in the wreck, most of them went into shock. Most kids told me they couldn’t feel their hands. It’s such a tragic thing. You never expect anything like this to happen,” McBride said.

He said it’s a blessing that he’s safe, but that doesn't mean there aren’t feelings of grief and loss.

"The pain is not just physical. Nothing can compare to the emotional pain that everybody at the wreck and the families involved and our whole community has suffered through this," he said.

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