Complex effort frees woman from wreck
by The Press and Standard | November 20, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: November 20, 2018 at 10:24 am
It took a large team of rescuers and an accumulation of tools to free a 17-year-old female trapped inside her wrecked vehicle the afternoon of Nov. 16.
Members of Colleton County Fire-Rescue and the South Carolina Highway Patrol were called to the crash in the 600 block of Ritter Road, where an eastbound Ford Explorer went off the roadway and struck a tree, causing massive damage to the vehicle.
The driver was trapped in the wreckage between the dash and the seat. She was wearing a seatbelt, which contributed to saving her life. The patient suffered life-threatening multiple traumatic injuries.
With only a few inches of space inside the car, firefighter-paramedics treated the young woman during the extrication, administering IVs, oxygen and medications for pain management.
Other crewmembers worked for 40 minutes using hydraulic rescue tools to extricate the patient.
The vehicle was stabilized using the winch on the front of one rescue vehicle. The dashboard was pulled off of the patient with chains rigged from a nearby tree and pulled with a hydraulic spreader.
Another set of rescue tools were used to remove the driver and passenger doors; then one of the support posts was cut away.
The victim freed, she was placed in Fire-Rescue ambulance and moved to C.A.R.E. Flight medical helicopter, which had landed in a nearby field.
The helicopter’s flight crew was brought to the crash scene to assist with patient care.
She was then flown to the Trauma Center at MUSC in Charleston.
The S.C. Highway Patrol investigated the accident.