Colleton County Fire-Rescue
24/July/2015 – Mutual Aid Fatal MVC w/Double Entrapment– “A” Shift
Incident # 15-04187 - An adult male was killed and a second man was injured after a northbound tractor trailer left the roadway at a high rate of speed, jack knifed and hit several trees Friday afternoon 24-July. At 13:55, Hampton County Fire-Rescue called for mutual aid with the accident on I-95 near the 39 mile marker northbound. The accident was one mile south of the Hampton-Colleton County Line. The loaded tractor trailer went down an embankment near the Combahee River. One tree split the cab in two, trapping both occupants and breaching a large diesel fuel tank, spilling a large quantity of fuel at the scene. Hampton County responders were actively working to extricate the passenger when Colleton Units arrived. Hampton EMS Paramedics and an off-duty NC nurse were treating both patients. Colleton Firefighter-Paramedics deployed multiple Holmatro Hydraulic Rescue Tools to begin extricating the driver who was heavily entrapped. The patient was pinned between the dash and the tree. He was in critical condition. Personnel began removing portions of the cab while other Firefighters rigged chains to pull the cab away from the tree. Approximately 20 minutes later Hampton Firefighters freed the passenger from the sleeper area of the truck. His arm had been pinned between the roof and the tree. The man was able to climb down a ladder and ambulate with assistance to a nearby stretcher.
Colleton Fire-Rescue Medic 13 transported the passenger to Colleton Medical Center in Walterboro. The driver went into respiratory arrest twice during the extrication, but was revived by Paramedics and the Nurse. There were several tense moments when the truck caught fire twice during the extrication. Firefighters used an 1-3/4 handline to extinguish the fire while crewmembers continued the extrication effort. The driver was freed at 15:17, an hour after the extrication began. He had been trapped for close to an hour and half. Hampton County EMS rapidly transported him to Colleton Medical Center, however the patient did not survive his multiple traumatic injuries. Traffic on I-95 was down to one lane for over five hours and backed up for several miles. Many motorist detoured to US Hwy 17-A. The SC Highway Patrol and State Transport Police are investigating the accident.
Hampton County Tanker 98, a Squad and Hampton EMS Medic 3 responded. Colleton County Engine 13, Rescue 1, Medic 1, Medic 26, Car 105, Car 107, Car 110 and Car 118 responded. Colleton County Deputy Chief David Greene served as Incident Commander.
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