Bystanders stop flames while driver is trapped inside wreckage



A Lowcountry man was trapped in fiery wreckage in a recent crash that occurred in the Maple Cane community of rural Colleton County.

The unidentified 31-year-old driver from Summerville, S.C. was traveling on S.C. Highway 61 (Augusta Highway) on Oct. 24th when he crashed his car into a patch of woods. According to original reports made by callers to the Colleton County 911-emergency dispatch center, the vehicle was on fire and the driver was trapped. Emergency crews arrived from Colleton County Fire-Rescue (CCFR) and found the Chevrolet pickup overturned with “heavy damage,” according to CCFR Director Barry McRoy.

“Bystanders had extinguished the fire in the truck, but the engine, which was thrown 20 feet from the vehicle was still burning. The driver was still trapped in the wreckage,” said McRoy.

According to McRoy, local firefighter-paramedics began treating the man inside the truck, while other crew members used Holmatro Pentheon rescue tools to remove the vehicle’s roof.

“The driver was restrained, but suffered multiple traumatic injuries and was in critical condition,” he said. Once the man was removed from the vehicle, he was transported to the Trauma Center at Trident Medical Center in North Charleston.

The crash occurred, said McRoy, when the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado traveling south on Augusta Highway dropped off of the right shoulder of the road, and the driver over-corrected, crossed both lanes and entered the north bound ditch.

The truck struck a driveway culvert, became airborne and hit several trees, he said.

“It rolled over before coming to rest on its side. A portion of one tree fell across the power lines knocking the lines to the ground,” said McRoy.

Local emergency crews were on the scene for three hours assisting the wrecker service and Coastal Electric Power Company. The S.C. Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.