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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Rescuer's Daughter Watches events unfold Friday Night near Avoca

AVOCA - NOVEMBER 21, 2022 - The family of Elllis Mattison was returning home from Bloomington headed to Hillham, Indiana where the family lives when things got a little scary for their nine-year-old daughter.

The fiery crash at 9:32 p.m. Friday night could have turned out different but thanks to the good Samaritans the driver Holly Mclaughin is home recovering.

Ellis Mattison called 911 reporting a vehicle in the median and into incoming traffic Friday night

" We were traveling southbound on Indiana State Road 37 when the vehicle passed us going into the median and couple of times into the northbound lane, towards incoming traffic," said Mattison.

" I got on 911 telling the dispatchers what was happening, and then the vehicle became airborne at least two to three times. All of the sudden the vehicle striking the sign was bursting into flames. Everything happened so quickly,"

Mattison along with two others George Wheeler, and Konner Porter stopped their vehicles and went to work in getting Holly Mclaughin, who was driving the passenger car out of her vehicle.

" She kept saying there might be someone else in the vehicle, so we all started looking in the back seat of the vehicle. One of the guys had a flashlight and we started searching making sure there was not a child in the backseat,"

The smoke was terrible at the time which made it difficult and gut wrenching all at the same time worried they might be someone else.

While this is all happening Mattison's nine-year-old daughter is watching her father risk his life and was really upset that he might get hurt.

" My child became very upset and crying of course worried what might happen to me, not to mention just seeing how the vehicle and crash happened,"

Children processing these kinds of events and happening so very fast can be traumatic.

Mattison said the police department arrived very quickly after the crash and started helping. " We carried her away from the vehicle to where it was safe,"

Firefighters from the Bedford Fire Department and Marshall Township Volunteer Fire Department arrived and began working to get the fire under control. IU Lifeline ambulance personnel arrived at the scene treating McLaughlin at the scene. The ambulance personnel tried contacting two air ambulance services who were both busy at the time of the accident.

IU Lifeline Ambulance decided to head toward IU Bloomington Hospital with McLaughlin. She was later released from the hospital that night with a bruising and a few burns.

" On the way home, my daughter vomited twice from being upset from the incident. I inhaled some smoke and had to stop and get some throat lunges to help my throat that was scratchy and coughing,"

"After learning the Holly was okay, my daughter and family was relieved and happy. Finally, she got calmed down and was relieved that everything turned out well," said Mattison.

Holly Mclaughin is home after being involved in a fiery crash at Indiana State Road 37 and Indiana 54 Friday night

The family of Holly is reaching out to all those involved from the by-standers to the police officers, fire personnel, and EMS workers all playing a vital role that helped save a live Friday night.

In addition, the family would really like to meet everyone in the future and personally thank them for all they have done.

For McLaughlin family this Thanksgiving will be really something to celebrate.

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