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March 12, 2011It was just past 3 a.m. Saturday and Blake Sailors, along with teammates Austin Long, Wes Van Dyk and Dustin Royston, were driving approximately 25 miles outside of Miami on Interstate 95 en route to Key West for a fun-filled week of Spring Break.
The trip down from Athens had been a smooth one, until in the darkness ahead their headlights, they spotted a man standing alongside the road, frantically trying to flag someone down.
All of a sudden, the four noticed what the commotion was all about. Just ahead - five vehicles in a tangled mess with injured victims inside.
"We slowed down and saw that his car was really messed up, so we knew it was a wreck," Sailors said Saturday morning. "After we stopped and asked what was wrong, we could see the guy was pretty shaken up. He said he had called the ambulance, but there was no one else there so we stayed and offered to do whatever we could."
The four Bulldogs did just that, remaining on the scene until medical personnel arrived.
"There were like 8-10 fire trucks, seven ambulances, people were getting life-flighted out ?," recalled Sailors, who said upon their arrival, police shut down both sides of the interstate. "They had to pry one guy out with the Jaws of Life who was inside one of the cars with a busted up leg."
Sailors said the four spoke to firefighters who came to the scene.
"One of them asked if we played football and I told him we did," Sailors said. "We just wanted to make sure everyone was OK. We just tried to help keep that guy stay calm until help arrived. We're just glad that we were able to be there to help out."
Once they left, the four reflected on just how fortunate they were as just ten minutes earlier, the Bulldogs had stopped to top off their tank with gas.
"You see something like that and you can't help but think, if we had not stopped sooner ? thank God it wasn't us in that wreck," Sailors said. "We were lucky."
Sailors said the four didn't do anything anyone else wouldn't have done.
"We just wanted to make sure everyone was ok, and if we needed to assist anyone injured in the cars or help get somebody out, whatever," he said. "The guy there had already checked on everybody (in the wreck), so it wasn't like we had to rush over there or anything like that. We just tried to keep him calm and be there just in case there was anything we needed to do."
Sailors said the incident will be something they will never forget.
"We talked about and it was just crazy thinking it almost could have been us," he said. "I'm just glad we came out here, so hopefully now we can relax before we come back (to Athens) and get started on spring ball."