Berkeley couple steps up to help Alabama choir who lost belongings in fiery crash

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Sunday, May 5, 2019
Berkeley couple steps up to help Alabama choir who lost belongings in fiery crash
A Berkeley couple has stepped up to a university choir from Alabama after they lost all of their belongings in a fiery crash on the 101.

BRISBANE, Calif. (KGO) -- Students from the world-renowned choir, The Aeolians of Oakwood University in Alabama escaped the flames of their charter bus after a fatal crash on 101 in South San Francisco.

The crash happened around 12:45 near the Sierra Point Parkway exit. A person in a car that crashed into the back of the bus has died-- authorities have not identified them.

ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: 'We were looking death in the face,' University choir from Alabama escapes fiery bus crash on Hwy 101

The choir was on their way to their hotel room to rest before their big performance on Sunday.

According to California Highway Patrol, the bus driver was not able to stop on time and crashed into three other vehicles that had crashed against each other minutes prior on the 101.

"I saw some people fall under the seats get pushed under the seats hitting their knees. I saw uncle Vilroy saw him fall at the front of the bus and the bus started smoking," said choir member Jonathan Mills.

Mills recorded the petrifying scene once off the bus. Choir manager Vilroy McBean helped get the 18 students and two staff members to safety.

"We went off the bus and moved away because I knew and felt that there was going to be an explosion," said McBean.

An explosion that took with it all the belongings of The Oakwood University choir who traveled to the Bay Area to perform at a local church on Sunday.

A former choir member and her husband in Berkeley heard about the accident and decided to bring some joy after this tragedy.

"Well someone has got to step up to help these guys, they are doing such great work throughout the world," said Berkeley resident Brian Richardson.

The Richardsons paid for 12 suits, shoes and socks for their choir members who lost their belongings.

"I never would have thought that something like that would have happened. I believe in God so I know we will get through it," said Mills.

The choir is scheduled to perform at The Third Baptist Church in San Francisco at 5 pm on Sunday. Admission to the event is free.