Even in a situation as dark and dire as Friday's tourist train wreck, rays of light shine through, as many area residents offered help and support during the rescue effort.
Leisha Cassell, paramedic for Bartow-Frank-Durbin Rescue, said she was overwhelmed by the community support for the victims and the rescue personnel.
"Area restaurants including Station 2 Restaurant brought food for the workers," Cassell said. "Residents helped by bringing coffee, water, Gatorade and sandwiches. Also residents went around to stores and businesses and gathered donations of ice, pop and snacks for those rescue personnel working at the scene. It was wonderful to have the help."
Cassell said that she heard the same thing happened on the other side of the train, which separated the rescue teams.
"They had trays of subs from Subway," Cassell said. "They said that a local church group had paid for and arranged for the sandwiches to be delivered to the scene for the workers."
Other support was reported by Bobbie Cross, a certified professional coder at Davis Health System and health information coordinator at Davis Memorial Hospital Advanced Hearing Solutions, Inc. The employees of Advanced Hearing Solutions, Inc. donated their time and energy to deliver pizza from Darren's Pizza Shack and bottled water to the employees, law enforcement officers and passengers at the train accident.
Cross also said Rebecca Kaposy Higgins, owner of Advanced Hearing Solutions and registered nurse, volunteered to help where needed for patient care.
Many people commented on the wreck and the rescue efforts on Facebook.
Elkins resident Ralphene Holbert Maynard offered thanks via Facebook to all first responders and medical teams at the scene.
Adam West, a teacher at Elkins Christian Academy, posted, "Praying for all those involved in the train accident today."
Pastor Jamie Estep, with the Church of God Elkins Family Worship Center, wrote, "Prayers for all that were involved in the accident at Cheat. May God bless all the volunteers that served in those situations."
One of the church's paritioners, Deborah Kendrick Mayle, responded, writing, "Mark Phillips was working on the train today, Pastor. He's at the hospital now waiting to hear from the family." Phillips, an employee on the train, suffered a broken arm but refused treatment until all passengers were safe.
Please contact The Inter-Mountain if you know of others who should be recognized for volunteering in this challenging time. Comments can be submitted to the Virtual Newsroom at www.theintermountain.com.