Colleton County Fire-Rescue


15/October/2021 - Multi-vehicle MVC - "B" Shift

Incident # 21-07446 - A tow-truck operator is lucky to be alive after his tow truck and a motorhome were struck by a tractor trailer on I-95 near the 45 mile marker southbound Friday evening 15-October at 23:35. The tow truck from Ridgeland had been called to remove a disabled motorhome from the breakdown lane on Interstate 95. The family of three, including an infant, had left the scene about 15 minutes prior to the accident. The tow truck operator was preparing to hook up to the motorhome when a southbound tractor trailer entered the breakdown lane, striking the motorhome and then the wrecker. The motorhome overturned and  was pushed into the woods off of the right shoulder. The tractor trailer and the wrecker were pushed into the wooded median. The wrecker received heavy damage. The interstate was littered with debris which blocked both southbound lanes. When he realized the collision was imminent, the tow truck operator dove to the passenger side of the vehicle, a move that spared his life. The driver's side of the cab was crushed. The tow truck operator received multiple, but non-life threatening injuries. The tractor trailer driver was not injured and stated that he fell asleep. Fire-Rescue units arrived 8 minutes later to the isolated rural area to find the highway blocked.The trailer was also blocking one southbound lane. The motorhome was leaking propane and fuel, as well as the tractor trailer that received breaches in the saddle tanks spilling diesel fuel on the highway and into the median.

Southbound traffic had already backed up two miles. Firefighter-Paramedics used air monitors to determine the extent of the propane leak, then secured the cylinders. A booster line from Engine 1 was used to clean debris from one lane to allow traffic to begin moving. The tractor trailer was hauling a non-hazardous load. Several tow companies responded to clean up the accident site which took several hours. Southbound traffic was down to one lane for about 5 hours. The SC Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. 

Engine 1, Medic 1, Medic 13, Battalion 1 and Car 112 responded. Firefighter-EMT Robert Loflin served as Incident Commander.