Hero honored for selfless acts after deadly Texas highway pileup

A Texas paramedic who was hurt in a pileup on an icy highway and helped crash survivors was awarded a new SUV for his heroic actions.

Video Transcript

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BILL WADELL: This was a morning commute to work Trey McDaniel will never forget.

TREY MCDANIEL: Put my foot on the brake and I was on black ice.

BILL WADELL: The MedStar paramedic was driving on Interstate 35 West in Fort Worth, expecting to help distribute COVID-19 vaccinations. Instead, Trey got caught up in the middle of this massive, 130 vehicle pileup on an icy stretch of elevated highway. He saw truck headlights coming from behind and had nowhere to go.

TREY MCDANIEL: Looked down, closed my eyes, and I got impacted with some of the most brutal forces I've ever experienced in my life.

BILL WADELL: The crash sent his SUV airborne, landing on the other side of a barrier.

TREY MCDANIEL: You're alive. You're walking. You're not feeling any pain. But it's because of the adrenaline.

BILL WADELL: Trey says he crawled out a window and got to work, helping crash survivors trapped in mangled cars and trucks. Six people died, and more than 60 others were hurt.

BOB CARTER: He's a true hero, and the world needs more people like Trey McDaniel.

BILL WADELL: Leaders at Toyota heard Trey's story and honored him with a new SUV at Texas Toyota of Grapevine, the dealership he worked at before becoming a paramedic. Trey is still recovering from injuries to his ankle and back.

TREY MCDANIEL: The best way to get through tough situations is talking about it. Let's talk. Reach out to me.

BILL WADELL: Trey wants to connect with the survivors he helped, hoping their shared stories will get them through what happened on that cold and icy morning. For AccuWeather, I'm Bill Wadell.