Recently, a group of Wisconsin Boy Scouts were returning from a 10-day trip in New Mexico. During the train ride home, a terrible accident took place. Their train collided with a dump truck and derailed. This provided an opportunity for the young scouts to show off their learned skills in keeping cool in intense situations. One young scout managed to pull himself from the wreckage and found the truck driver. He spoke with him until the paramedics came, and kept him calm with words of comfort before he died.
The Appleton Scouts Troop 73 were aboard a train heading home. They had been away on a 10-day excursion in the wilderness of New Mexico. The trip had left them with a sense of excitement, having learned new skills for survival. A 15-yer old boy, Eli Skrypczak was part of the 15 scout members. They were accompanied by eight troop leaders. One of the leaders was Dan Skrypczak, Eli’s father. On Monday night, Dan gave an interview about the derailment.
Scout leader Dan spoke about how his son managed to survive the derailment. Not only that, but he actually pulled himself from the wreckage and found the driver of the dump truck. He was lying in a ditch, badly wounded. Reportedly, Eli comforted the man until the paramedic arrived on the scene. This kept the man calm during that time.
“He’s OK. He’s shook now that the adrenaline has worn off,” said scout leader Dan to the New York Post. “When we finally did talk to him, he was pretty upset, he wishes he could have done more. Just trying to explain to him, that you get hit by a high-speed train, nobody could’ve done much for the truck driver. He did everything he could, he did the right thing, he provided comfort and aid.”
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“He thinks he’s Superman”
The derailment of the train resulted in many injuries. It was carrying 243 passengers, as well as 12 crew members. Of those, only three deaths were reported. Three of the scout leaders were part of those who were injured by the crash. The truck diver was one of the three deaths. Dan spoke about how his son wishes he was able to save the man, but this was obviously out of his hands. the driver’s injuries were too severe. “He’s a typical 15-year-old, he thinks he’s Superman, should’ve been able to save this guy,” Dan said.
After the derailment of the train, a woman arrived on the scene. she most likely heard the news of the truck driver, and she claimed to have known him. After she asked to see the body of the driver, Eli was reportedly saddened to see how upset she was when she was not allowed to see it. “He said some lady was really upset and they wouldn’t let her see the body … but that shook him up, too,” said Eli’s father, Dan.
The scouts helped out where they could
Eli has been a scout for a few years now, having joined when he was only 6-yers-old. No one expects to see children helping out after a train derailment. This is something that many adults would struggle to deal with. However, several of the scouts from the Appleton Scouts Troop 73 put their fears aside and offered help to those who needed it. They also helped the first responders keep the injured still as they were put on stretchers.
Scout leader Dan said that he was proud of the scouts for their bravery. Despite the train derailing they kept a level head and helped out where needed. “Any scout leader sees the kids staying calm and being part of the solution instead of the emergency itself, I think any scout leader would be proud of that. And I am,” said Dan.
He went on to describe how their behaviors were admirable. Although, he wished it hadn’t happened for the sake of his son, Eli. “I’m very, very happy about how they behaved, how they behaved in that situation,” he said. “Obviously very sad that it happened and I can’t wait to hug my kid.”
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