Georgia football players Washaun Ealey and Michael Gilliard were Good Samaritans on Wednesday night, stopping to help a fellow student who crashed a campus bus while driving on an icy road.
Ealey and Gilliard had just eaten dinner at the Oglethorpe House Dining Hall shortly after 8 p.m., and Ealey was driving behind the bus as it made a right turn at the corner of Cedar Street and Sanford Drive. The bus hydroplaned on the slippery road and crashed head-on into a tree.
Ealey pulled over and the two players ran to the bus to see if the driver was in danger. She was extremely scared and unable to open the bus’ doors, but physically OK.
“We had to pry the door open and we went in to see if she was all right,” said Ealey, a sophomore running back. “She was fine. She was just panicking and she was crying and she was thanking God that she didn’t get hurt.”
A tree limb had crashed through the bus’ windshield, so there was shattered glass spread throughout the bus. The players also said they detected an odd smell, which made them fear that the bus might be in jeopardy of catching fire.
“I was kinda scared,” admitted Gilliard, a sophomore linebacker. “I saw a tree limb in the windshield and how she was hollering and things like that. So I thought something bad happened.”
Added Ealey: “I wasn’t thinking about it. Michael said he was thinking about it, because the whole time, he was kinda standing at the back of the bus. He said he was thinking it was gonna blow, but I was trying to see if she was all right.”
A nurse who had been at a nearby dormitory joined the players on the bus and waited with the driver until police and ambulance arrived and took the driver to the hospital for a medical checkup.
Once they assisted police in filling out an incident report, Ealey and Gilliard were free to go. Immediately, Ealey said, they began calling friends and teammates to tell them what had just happened.
“They think they’re superheroes now,” safety Bacarri Rambo joked.
But the pair deserves credit for helping a motorist in need, Georgia coach Mark Richt said.
“Those two guys did a very good deed,” Richt said in a university statement. “They stopped and helped out and I’m proud of them. They assisted someone who was in distress, which is a good thing.”