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First responder talks about massive I-275 pileup

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CINCINNATI - It was like nothing Kris Prosser, a 12-year veteran of the Colerain Township Fire Department, had ever seen before.

Eighty-six cars twisted and tangled in one of the worst crashes in Hamilton County history.

"Absolutely I'll never forget it," said Prosser.

Prosser was with one of the first units dispatched to Monday's crash. He said the original call was for a five-car accident with a child who was not breathing.

When they arrived on scene, he knew things were much worse than they suspected.

"There was no way to get an accurate count until we climbed into the mess," said Prosser, talking about the scope of the injured.

The unresponsive child in the original dispatch turned out to be 12-year-old Sammy Reagan, the lone fatality of the pileup on Monday.

Prosser and his partner were flagged down by the driver of a tanker truck bleeding from his head. The man directed them to a smashed up silver Nissan with an elderly couple inside.

Under normal circumstances, Prosser and other first responders would handle the situation themselves. But, with resources spread thin, they accepted the help of the man who flagged them down.

"It appeared he had some mechanical experience, so what I asked him to do was help hook up my hydraulic lines, which saves me time and gives me the ability to go strait to the patient, talk to the patient, and get my hands on the tools," said Prosser.

Authorities checked every car involved inside and out to make sure nobody was missed in the wreckage. Once a car was checked twice, a piece of yellow tape was tied to the car and a number was marked on the side.

Prosser says they're training for a mass casualty event like this one was key, but he hopes he never has to use that training again.

"I don't ever want to see it again, because I don't want to see people get hurt," said Prosser.

Prosser also wants to thank the stranger who paid for food for dozens of first responders out of his own pocket. He says it was just another instance where people came together in a time of tragedy.

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