U.S. Army Reservists were just miles away from home after a training mission away from their families when a bus crash happened Friday afternoon.
Some of those soldiers had an emotional reunion with family members.
Hugs, smiles and even laughter overwhelmed Army Reservists at their final destination in Salisbury.
"It was horrible. It really happened in slow motion," said Reservist Bianca Johnson.
"There was panic. People didn't know what was going on," said Pvt. Justin Furr.
He said most of the soldiers on the bus were asleep when the bus braked hard, went into a tailspin and landed on its side in a ditch. An official with the Army said 45 Army Reserve soldiers from the 991st Transportation Company were on the bus. Fifteen soldiers were treated for minor injuries at the scene. Fourteen with more serious injuries were taken to local hospitals.
"People were just screaming and crying. All the windows shattered so there was broken glass and blood all over the glass," Furr said.
But on Highway 152 in IredellCounty, tragedy turned to triumph as Army Reserve soldiers inside second bus helped first responders rescue some of their own.
"There was only one patient that was pinned in the vehicle but they were helping to move the injured to safe locations," said Iredell County EMS Jason Little.
As Chopper 9 hovered over the bus accident, our camera caught images of relief: Soldiers hugging, crying, simply thankful. In Salisbury, Johnson was reunited with her loved ones.