A Dallas police officer, first on the scene of a deadly car crash, says he's left shaken by what he saw -- and how some witnesses acted in the face of the emergency.
It happened just after 2 p.m. Monday on Hwy. 67.
Police Lieutenant Anthony Williams was off duty when he saw "flying debris" in a closed HOV lane and decided to intervene, he told Fox Dallas-Fort Worth. To his horror, he discovered that two people trapped in the wrecked vehicle were burning to death.
“l just [saw them] literally be cremated," he told the station. "It’s the first time I’ve ever prayed for someone to go ahead and pass, and I say that not to be disrespectful to the family.”
Williams scrambled to find help, although at that point he said there was little to be done. He and another witness asked if anyone in the crowd that had gathered along the crash site had fire extinguishers. What he saw instead were several people -- some at a distance, others up close -- filming the burning wreck on their cellphones.
It disgusted him.
"A person’s actually dying in front of their eyes, and rather than you making it a priority, putting yourself in the role of a first responder, just to try to help out in some way, you choose your priority to be filming somebody’s death,” Williams told Fox DFW.
He called it the "perversion of social media," according to the station.
According to WFAA, the crash occurred when the car, which was traveling southbound in the closed HOV lane, hit a protruding concrete barrier then spun and burst into flames.
The names of the victims have not been released. Medical examiners said the bodies were burned beyond recognition, according to Fox DFW.