Motorcycle-riding execs become highway heroes

A group of music-industry executives helped yank 10 people from their cars just before fire raced through the scene of a multi-vehicle crash on I-24 in southern Illinois.

A semi-truck had plowed full speed into cars that had stopped for construction on the highway near its junction with Interstate 57, causing a chain-reaction eight-car pileup shortly after noon CT Friday.

“There’s gas leaking everywhere, and diesel leaking everywhere,” said Marc Oswald, co-owner of Fontanel and Oswald Entertainment Group in Nashville. “I knew it was going to blow up. That’s 100%.

"It just hadn’t blown up yet, he said. "It smelled like acid and black smoke.”

Just in front of that pileup: A 10-person crew riding bikes from Nashville to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.

“I can’t get the sound out of my head. An 18-wheeler that just plowed into these people,” said Frank Wing, vice president of APA talent agency. “I saw all this debris going everywhere.”

“It’s like, boom! Like a bomb. As loud a boom as you can imagine,” said Greg Oswald, co-head of the Nashville office of the William Morris Endeavor talent agency. “You can see a car going straight up into the air.”

The Oswald brothers, who were paramedics for 10 years in San Diego, got in touch with 911 operators and immediately began organizing bystanders.

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