Local News

Aug 15, 2014 2:35 PM by Janine Reyes

House Collapse Survivor Recalls Terrifying Moments Trapped in Debris

GREGORY -- Authorities are done investigating a deadly house collapse yesterday in Gregory, they say it was all just a terrible accident.

One man died, two others survived.

One of those survivors says mere inches separated him from life and death.

"It was some terrifying stuff very terrifying," Darrell Jackson told us as he saw an entirely different view of the spot where he spent an hour trapped in debris yesterday. He tells us, it felt like more like several hours.

"It was hot my body was beat up and sore my legs were falling asleep my arms were falling asleep and I can't see, stuff is in my nose, I'm coughing, I'm screaming just everything you could imagine," Jackson said.

Everything you could imagine, including thoughts he might not make it out alive. "I didn't really have no faith until I heard those chainsaws coming," Jackson described.

The only warning came a split second before crashing walls

"I heard a noise like a creek like that and I looked up and that sucker was just bearing down," remembered Jackson.

His friends, Ivan and Mario, were standing just inches away. They did not have time to react.

"The doctor told me that you're very lucky, you're very lucky to be alive and I told him 'you can't cheat fate' and he told me 'you just did'", Jackson shared with us, while still wearing his hospital issued clothes.

Darrell believes the only way he cheated fate was by diving into a particular spot, as luck would have it, he landed between two heavy pillars

"This is he hole where my head had broke this hole open so i was able to turn I here and put my face right here," he said, pointing to what is now mostly a mound of debris.

That little spot gave him room to breathe until emergency crews could cut through the roof and attic to free him.

Once in the ambulance, though, the terror didn't fade. "I kept constantly asking about it I kept saying 'where they at man? I don't hear no other ambulances pulling up,' you know what I'm saying," he recalled, 'where are my friends at I don't hear no ambulances they should have been right behind me.'"

Jackson learned Ivan died while in the hospital last night. He rushed to pay respects the moment doctors released him this morning.

"We were just friends getting together trying to help another friend I wasn't supposed to happen like that," Jackson said.

Friends gathered at the house today to remember the man who died, Ivan Sanchez Milan.

Most in Gregory knew him and knew he always made his way around town riding his bike. It sits at the somber scene today.

This morning, some brought flowers and placed them near the bike. Someone even dropped off a cross that Ivan made.

Friends say he always helped out others. In fact, the very day he died, he helped fill a stranger's gas tank.

He spent the last ten years in Gregory, but is originally from Guadalajara, that's where he planned to visit family next week. "His mom's birthday is next week what a birthday present," said friend Carlos Mencha.

We're told he also had a wife and children. He has two sisters who live in the Coastal Bend. Details on funeral arrangements have not been released yet.

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