Hundreds of people witnessed Jimmy Leeward's plane, the Galloping Ghost, plummet to the ground last Friday.
Many of those who saw the crash became heroes, doing whatever they could to help the wounded.
James Shawn and his father, Capt. Jim Shawn, were in Reno from Houston to watch the air show last Friday. "There was absolutely no fireball," said Shawn. "It looked like a toy hit the ground. It's not like in the movies where you see a fireball and secondary explosion and such things like that. It just hit the ground really hard. Just as the dust blew away, you expect to see a tail and perhaps flight controls, but there was nothing, just a hole and quiet for a second."
Capt. Shawn said he remembers spectators screaming and yelling. He says immediately he and his son, James kicked into action. They ran down to the site, trying to help some of those wounded.
James said initially, he was turned away by paramedics, but when he told them he was an EMT Basic, they allowed him to stay on site to help. James said he saw an injured person near the crash site, but he struggled getting to the triage center because there was so much debris and bodies.
After getting the victim to the triage center, James says he helped several other people that were injured, holding IV bags and doing whatever he could to comfort the wounded. That's when he said he got his chance to take it all in.
"I grabbed the backboard," said James Shawn. "I was scanning the area for any victims who hadn't been attended to or any medics who needed a backboard. That's when I started to take in general carnage of what had happened. There was the smell of fuel and people."
A total of 11 people, including pilot Jimmy Leeward, died when Leeward's Galloping Ghost P-51 Mustang crashed nose-first into a section of VIP box seats late Friday afternoon at the Reno-Stead Airport.
Sunday, May 19 2013 7:02 PM EDT2013-05-19 23:02:30 GMT
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