01-20-2008
Car vs. Tree - Pin-in/Fatality
I77 at 41mm

The call came in as a car off the roadway on I77 near the 42mm.  The units responding came from exit 45 due to no exact location and located the vehicle just south of the 42mm.  Skids marks shows the vehicle may have gone off the left side of the road, then over corrected and left the roadway.  There were 4 people in the Acura and all appeared to have serious injuries.  At one point, the front seat passenger was thought to have passed away, but was found to still have a pulse.  Three helicopters were requested.  One went to the hospital from Spartanburg, SC, Carolina Medical Center and Baptist Hospital helicopters came to the scene and landed.  Traffic was blocked for about an hour as extrication was completed and patients loaded and taken to the hospital.  Units from Iredell County EMS, Troutman Fire & Rescue, Shepherds Fire, NC SHP, IMAP, and the helicopters from various hospitals responded.

Update 1/21/08 - One of the passengers passed away at the hospital later on the 20th.


Units on scene start to determine what equipment will be needed.


Going into the wooded area made access difficult.  Chainsaws were bought in to clear the area around the car.


Extrication of patients that weren't pinned in started with rear driver's side.


The driver was out of the vehicle wandering around and the paramedic gets him to sit down and calms him.


Rescue Chief requesting a screw driver to help deactivate side airbags.


The rear seat passenger is brought out on backboard.


Calling for more equipment to complete extrication.


Driver and 2nd patient loaded into the ambulance for ground trip to hospital.


2nd rear seat patient is extricated from vehicle.


Team work getting the patient to the top of the hill.


Getting the patient secured on the backboard.  Firefighter is comforting the patient.


Comforting words are exchanged between patient and firefighter.


The extrication of the front seat passenger starts by removing the windshield.


The windshield is pushed forward for access through front window.


Backboard brought in get set up to extricate pinned in patient.


Rescuers find a way into the vehicle through all points of access.


State Trooper's Dodge Charger (for my friend in Austria)


The first of the helicopters comes to the scene.


Carolina Medical Center helicopter lands first.


The pilot and nurse set the helicopter down on the ground.


Baptist Hospital helicopter is coming in for the 2nd air unit.


Final approach to the interstate.


The 2nd helicopter is about down on the ground.


Touch down by Baptist Hospital Helicopter.


Lined up waiting for their patients.


Loading the patient in the rear of the Baptist Helicopter.


Shepherds firefighter watches for any problem as he mans the hose.


The 2nd helicopter takes off with their patient.


As the copter passes overhead. 


The last patient was transported to the hospital with the helicopter crew and the helicopter left to pick them and the patient there.


As darkness sets in, the helicopter leaves.


Trooper measuring distance from the roadway.


Front end of the the Acura.


Damage where vehicle hit the tree.


Wrecker pulling the car up the hill.


Looking into the driver's compartment.

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