‘I was put there for a reason’: Former Marine saves toddler after Clark Co. crash kills 9

Mar 12, 2024, 10:22 AM | Updated: 10:23 am

A former Marine saved a toddler after witnessing a car crash in Clark County, Wisconsin that killed...

A former Marine saved a toddler after witnessing a car crash in Clark County, Wisconsin that killed nine people. Mandatory Credit: WDJT via CNN Newsource

CLARK COUNTY, Wisconsin (WDJT) — A former Marine who witnessed a crash in west-central Wisconsin got to see the little boy he saved the day of the accident.

“Through the debris, I noticed the bodies,” Nathaniel Jahn said.

During his morning commute on Friday, March 8, Jahn approached State Highway 95 and County Highway J in the Town of Dewhurst and witnessed a crash he said replays in his mind daily.

“The semi collided with the van and sent the van sailing down the road,” he said. “I started running toward them and realized the van had started on fire.”

While trying to help the passengers, he heard a whimper. Jahn found 2-year-old Micah Schrock, who had been ejected from the van, underneath the rubble.

“He was crying,” he explained. “I just took my sweatshirt off, wrapped him, tried to keep him warm.”

The nine other people, including the semi driver, did not make it. The Associated Press identified the semi driver Monday as 51-year-old Daniel Liddicoat of Rewey, Wisconsin.

Micah’s family were members of Burke’s Garden Amish Community in Virginia. Sara White was a neighbor who had known the family for over a decade.

“It’s been horrible. Horrible. We’ve never experienced anything like this,” White said.

White tells CBS 58 since the crash, there has been an outpouring of support as she and others have collected donations. “My phone rang at least 100 times a day, people wanting to make donations. It’s really amazing,” she said.

With more than 1,000 people expected to visit the area to mourn, White said any help is appreciated. They have been collecting food, paper products, and money for funeral expenses.

“A lot of people in the community have donated their Airbnbs. We’re putting them in there,” she said. “The people that are bringing donations have been absolutely amazing.”

While the community prepares to say goodbye to the lives lost, Jahn got to say hello to Micah, who is now with his grandparents, on Monday.

“He’s fussy, but he’s eating and drinking and vocal, and that did my heart, warms me right over to see him,” Jahn said.

Jahn said seeing the 2-year-old safe is helping him cope with the trauma of this tragedy.

“I’m happy I got Micah. I’m happy I got him safe to his family, and it’s not a total loss,” he said.

“I was put there for a reason, and a little boy got saved.”

Over the weekend, Jahn and his wife created a memorial at the intersection with a cross and flower wreath to honor the lives lost.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has not identified the victims, but an Amish information line created to keep the community up to date on the crash named the people inside the van who died:

James McCoy, 45 Linda Byler, 44 Lydia Byler, 24 Ellen Schrock, 23 Orlah Schrock, 24 Judy Rose Schrock, 6 months Delilah Schrock, 21 Suzanna Hertzler, 18

“Having nine lives snuffed out in one accident is a tremendous shock. No words can explain it. It is totally beyond our comprehension, our hearts are torn and bleeding,” the information line said.

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‘I was put there for a reason’: Former Marine saves toddler after Clark Co. crash kills 9