A weekend traffic accident initially believed to have been linked to a case of road rage took some new turns on Monday.
Three passengers told investigators someone tried to run them off the road. On Monday, police said they had gathered new evidence that could paint a different story, now saying alcohol was involved.
Officers received conflicting reports from the teens about the other car involved: a light two-door, a dark four-door.
Police also say the teens claim they were passing the vehicle to get away from it after it passed them.
Whatever the cause, the crash scene was chaotic.
After spending the evening in Sloan, Iowa, Mary and Daniel Day were on their way home to Omaha late Friday night when they came upon the crash near the Irvington Road exit off I-680. They stepped in to help.
Mary Day said, "It's late at night. There is no lights out there. I felt so bad for those kids. They were like our granddaughters. You got to do something. You've got to help them."
Daniel Day said, "I ran up there and got her out of the car. She grabbed me. She started saying, 'Why did he do that to us? Why did he do this to us?' I said ‘What happened?’ She said, ‘Well he cut us off'."
After helping Gabriella, the front seat passenger, out of the Trailblazer, Daniel moved back to help Tanner Marcoe sitting behind her.
“He didn't talk, because when I went up to talk to him, all he did was moaned and groaned. He didn't say a word. I told him, ‘Don't move. Stay still. Help is on the way.’"
Mary says the worst came when she learned Maranda Carey, the driver, was tossed across all lanes of southbound traffic.
“When I got over there it was just a heap. You knew things were broken because things weren't in the right place."
The Days say the only thing going through their minds was just to do what they could to settle the girls down.
According to police, the driver and driver's side passenger were not wearing seat belts. They suffered the more severe injuries.
Investigators say the teens admitted to officers they were at a party drinking and brought alcohol into the car. First responders noted containers in the debris field.