Trucker survives I-95 crash

by | June 6, 2018 5:00 pm

Last Updated: June 6, 2018 at 11:26 am

A truck driver traveling on I-95 in the early morning hours of May 31 sustained critical injuries when his tractor-trailer crashed and caught fire.
Members of the South Carolina Highway Patrol and Colleton County Fire-Rescue were called to the crash in the northbound lanes of I-95 near the 43-mile marker at 4:40 a.m.
The tractor-trailer, driven by a 56-year-old Connecticut man, went off the roadway and into the median on I-95. It struck several trees, destroying the cab. The impact also caused the truck to burst into flames, which quickly engulfed the cab and ignited three of the eight new vehicles the car carrier had been hauling.
The driver was able to escape the mangled cab but collapsed a few yards from the wreckage. Several motorists stopped and found the driver on the ground with his clothes on fire. The good Samaritans used clothing to beat out the flames on the injured man and stayed with him until firefighter-paramedics arrived.
One woman remained on the phone with dispatchers, proving them detailed information about the crash that they then relayed to the emergency units headed to the crash site.
Fire-rescue personnel, stationed about two miles away, arrived minutes after the call and began treating the man. They used a hand line to begin extinguishing the fire.
A couple of bystanders continued to assist the first ambulance crew until additional Fire-Rescue personnel arrived.
The truck driver suffered multiple traumatic injuries along with second- and third-degree burns over 35 percent of his body.
Crews requested a medical helicopter for the injured driver and additional tenders for water supply. When they were informed that area medical helicopters were grounded due to fog, the patient was moved to an ambulance and transported to the Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Ga.
Both northbound lanes of I-95 at the 43-mile marker were blocked for about 30 minutes. Traffic was rerouted to Lowcountry Highway (U.S. Hwy 21) but the line of traffic on the interstate became backed up for several miles.
Firefighters had the fire under control within 30 minutes, but were on the scene for 90 minutes. One lane of I-95 was reopened once the fire was extinguished and both lanes were reopened about two hours later.

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