MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- "I knew it was bad. When I drove by the accident, I could tell it was bad," said Christopher Daniels.
He said he will never forget the images.
"I was traumatized. I never seen anything like that," he said.
Around 6:00 Sunday morning, Daniels was headed south on Highway 78.
"I didn't see that accident, but I saw the two young ladies hanging out of the mini-van," said Daniels.
While other cars kept going, Daniels couldn't.
"I had to stop. There was another young man that stopped. He was already on the phone calling 911. I called 911," he recalled.
He would be one of two men who arrived shortly after the maroon minivan slammed into a pole after being hit from behind.
Daniels went to the back of the van to help the two students trapped, 17-year-olds Maddie Kruse and Rachel Lynch.
He held one of their hands until help arrived.
"As they were taking her out she squeezed my hand. Her head turned towards me. She didn't have her eyes open. She couldn't open her eyes. I could feel her squeeze my hand. She turned her head over, and she passed away then," said Daniels.
He then went to comfort Briarcrest student Kara Holden whose injuries weren't as bad.
"I got to talking to her. I said she would be all right to hold on," he said.
"She said she was gonna attend school at North Alabama. I said, 'I am gonna come to your high school graduation if you just make it through this,'" said Daniels.
He said what haunts him even more is that other drivers kept coming by and kept going.
He said none of them stopped to help.
"They were seeing people pass by them. I couldn't understand why you would pass somebody by in that situation. We are all someone's children. We are all God's children," said Daniels.
We asked him about Melandus Penson, the man who investigators say caused the crash.
Where was he at the time?
"He smoked several cigarettes as he was trying to explain what had happened. I said now is not the time," he recalled. "We got him to eventually hold up the back of the mini-van."
Daniels said he never noticed the condition of Penson.
His mind was not on him at the time.
He just wanted to do what he could to give those young students, in the worst experience of their lives, a little comfort.
"I am a father. If they were my children, I would want someone to help my children," he said. "Only thing I can say to their parents is I was there, and I tried."
The surviving teen he consoled and promised to attend her graduation was Kara Holden.
He said he hopes to be able to keep that promise by reaching out to the family and letting them know there are people who care.
At the very least, he said he wants the families to know their daughters were not alone.