TEA, S.D. (KELO) — A couple traveling through South Dakota on Sunday are thankful to the people who stopped to help them following a crash on Interstate 29 near Tea.
Jason Alexander and Chastity Pfaff were on their way to Devils Lake, North Dakota, for an ice fishing trip when their pickup and trailer hit a patch of ice causing them to crash.
Just miles before the crash, Jason noticed how windy it had become.
“That very moment we’d happen to hit that icy patch that numerous accidents had occurred, and when we hit it, it pushed the trailer so hard that it just basically took the back end of the pickup out from underneath of us as well,” Alexander said.
They hit the ditch, rolled the pickup and trailer, and landed on a sign.
“We were up in the air, and I looked over at Jason, and Jason looked at me, and it was kind of like, ‘OK, here we go.’ I remember thinking in my mind, ‘This is it. Here we go. This is the end,'” Pfaff said.
Thankfully they both had their seatbelts on and walked away from the crash. However, they did lose their dog ‘Buddy.’
“He went everywhere with us, and he was everything. I keep bouncing back and forth. I know I’m blessed to walk away from this accident OK, and Jason and I are OK, but it’s still hard because he just was all heart,” Pfaff said.
Moments after the crash, three boys visiting family in South Dakota for Christmas stopped to help and make sure they were OK.
“It just was one of those things that we needed to make sure that we did our part to ensure that everybody else’s families were OK. Especially because everybody is travelling for the holidays. You don’t know how many people were in the vehicle at any time. It takes five minutes to stop on the side of the road just to call 911 and make sure that people are OK. It doesn’t cost anything to help somebody,” Brayden Reiser said.
The Reisers grew up in South Dakota until they moved to New Mexico in 2014. They lost their mother last year in a car crash.
“They were so selfless in their actions, and then when we started finding out more about their story, just truly good people and good young men,” Alexander said.
Kevin Willis and Jody Koziol were in town to see the Falls Park lights. They ran into Jason and Chastity at a hotel after the crash and helped them get food and a rental car.
“My father, as well, was killed in a car accident several years ago. There’s a saying that’s out there I learned a long time ago that says, ‘There are two ways to spread the light. Be the candle or the mirror that reflects it,’ so that’s what we were doing. We were trying to spread a little bit of light helping them, knowing that if we were in that situation as well, that we would hope people would help us,” Willis said.
Jason and Chastity are back home in Beatrice, Nebraska, and are doing well.
They also wanted to thank the first responders, hotel staff and the person who rushed their dog to the vet after the crash.