Editor’s Note: What you will read below is not about sports. Nor is it about the holiday season. Nor is it uplifting. If you read on, do so knowing that you will probably feel quite sobered at the end of it. As for me, I think it’s important to publish, even if the timing may be a bit of a downer. Reed, our prayers are with you for you own wellbeing, and I’m sure the family of the victim are thankful for your actions, especially during this holiday season.
To our POV Family, A friend suggested I share something with you all that I was involved with on 12/22/20. I asked Mike if it was OK to do so and he said he wanted to. First – let me make a couple things very clear. What you will read below is only factual. It in no way, shape or form captures the absolute horror of the situation. This wasn’t like in the movies or like you might see on TV – it was brutal, frightening, and the smell of gas, smoke and flames and the sight of flesh burning is something I won’t ever forget. You would think that one could look at what happened with the positive outcome and feel proud in some way. I do not one bit. That isn’t being humble – I just wish with all my heart it never happened.
I write this because I want everyone who reads it to understand the possible severity of decisions you must make and to be prepared to experience something unbelievable and tragic if you are in a position to help. Perhaps more importantly, please know that I beg you to take appropriate safety measures for you and your loved ones so something like this will never happen to you. I won’t be able to forget certain things no matter how hard I try and, even though I found out last night the victim has lived, I feel no sense of happiness or joy; quite the opposite in fact, but I’ll work on that as I must. I have been around the block a few times both professionally and personally, but man, this has really thrown me a hard punch.
Witness Statement of Reed H. Kohberger
Single car accident with injury; Oakland Mills Road between Kilimanjaro Rd and Farewell Rd.
December 22, 2020 at approximately 2:25 pm
On Dec 22, 2020 at approx. 2:25 I was on the scene of an accident where a car had crashed head-on into a tree at at least the posted speed limit with no apparent braking. Immediately after the car hit there were flames underneath the front engine compartment. I stopped my vehicle and ran across the street but all the doors were locked and the windows closed. Another person (Ron? I believe) showed up and then brought a heavy shovel from his car. I believe he then used the shovel on the rear passenger side window, broke it and thick black smoke came rolling out. He then called 911.
I took the shovel and went to the driver’s side but that side of the car was fully engulfed in flames and heavy smoke. I then beat in and opened the rear passenger window to try to clear smoke and leaned in to see a large woman screaming in the driver’s seat with flames in the front part of the car interior. By then the car was almost fully engulfed and she was trying to get to the passenger seat to avoid the heavy flames but was stuck and panicking.
I then took the shovel and broke through the passenger rear window and then the passenger front window and cleared the safety glass (which didn’t break down much) with the shovel and my hands and forearms. The driver was screaming up to a point then she became silent as the front seats were engulfed.
A man named Rico showed up and we grabbed the lady by her feet and pulled her through the window. By this time she was totally incoherent and we saw she was burned in places.
We put her on the ground and all three of us started dragging her away from the burning car and we could see she was pretty cut up also. By this time she was unconscious.
The first smaller explosion happened when we were about 10 feet away (underneath hood) and a second bigger one (underneath mid-car) blew when we had her just outside the danger area. I ran back to see if anyone else was in the car because the driver couldn’t communicate with us but there was no one in the vehicle I could see. I quickly reached into the back seat but felt nothing.
After she was given first aid by First Responders she was loaded into an ambulance and driven away. We three men gave our personal info to the female police officer and I was seen by a paramedic for cuts and burns on my hands and wrists. I declined to go to the Emergency Room. After that I left for home.
The above statement of my own actions is as full and as truthful as I can recall. My contact info is below.
Reed H. Kohberger
Editor’s Note: Here is a picture of the vehicle