At 87 and 84, the Briant sisters have pretty much seen it all. They found themselves on a bus stuck in traffic with millions of others trying to get out of the path of Hurricane Rita. It was their second hurricane in a month. They’d be taken to safety in Dallas.
Everything was going smoothly. Then the driver noticed that something was amiss. It’s unclear but he either detected smoke or flames coming from the bus. Once he realized the danger, they attempted to get everyone off the bus.
Edna Briant could not get out of her wheelchair to save her life. One aide threw her over her shoulder and carried her out. While Edna laid on the ground, she could only think of her sister, Claire, who was still on the bus. Her sister was soon pulled out as well.
Those who were rescued were tended to by a nurse, Tina Jones, who was in the car behind them, and two off-duty paramedics who just happened to pass by.
Tragically, 23 of them lost their lives with the bus burst into flames. When the bus burst into flames, their oxygen tanks exploded. The Briant sisters owe their lives to the aide that braved the flames to save them and the nurse and paramedics who happened to be sharing the same road.