ELKHART — Witnesses say the victim in Thursday's school bus crash was alert after the accident, but in the hospital, his condition worsened.
She was just an eyewitness; someone who saw people in need. Brenda Patton was on the scene of a chain reaction crash in Elkhart County Thursday. She stopped to help.
Police reported minor injuries at the scene. 85-year-old William Fuchs was rushed to the hospital for cuts to his head, and chest and back pains.
"I put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding and was talking to him to keep him awake," said Patton.
From that moment on, Patton stood by Fuchs' side.
"He wanted me to stay with him," she said.
Patton said Fuchs was in a lot of pain and very scared.
"He asked me what happened, what happened," said Patton. "He proceeded to ask me over and over again. In the beginning his voice was fine. His words got slurred later on as I proceeded to hold him and help him."
From the crash scene to the hospital, the two talked.
"We talked about his son, how old he was," said Patton. "He said his name was Bill and my name was Brenda."
But, as the night went on, Patton said a bad situation took a turn as Fuchs' condition worsened.
"I held his hand, he was telling me thank you. There was a point when he wasn't talking anymore, and it was really hard," said Patton.
Patton fought back tears as she recounted how Fuchs died as she held his hand.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she said as she stepped away to compose herself.
An autopsy was performed. The coroner told WSBT Fuchs died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck.
Patton said Fuchs invited her out for coffee at his favorite coffee shop once he healed from his injuries.
Elkhart Police continue talking to witnesses and gathering facts for the investigation.
"He was a sweet man," said Patton, reflecting on the loss. Patton said it's also a loss for his son who was travelling from out of state to see his father.
Fuchs died before his son arrived at the hospital.