Firefighters worked to remove the driver of an SUV after it crossed the median on an Oregon highway and hit a semi-truck. Another car flipped onto its roof during the incident.
“The driver of the black SUV was sent to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries,” a witness said.
One morning last week, an off-duty Portland firefighter and paramedic was driving southbound when he witnessed a small SUV a few cars ahead veer to the left, cross the median and strike a semi-truck in the opposite lanes. A third vehicle involved rolled onto its roof.
The 15-year veteran of the 304th Rescue Squadron based in Portland put his years of experience to excellent use. He pulled over to help the driver of the SUV, who was pinned between the driver’s seat and dashboard.
An off-duty nurse also stopped and administered CPR to the SUV driver.
“Because the driver was so severely pinned in the vehicle, there was little we could do for him until Portland Fire arrived at the scene,” said the firefighter. “Then I noticed that the SUV had smoke coming from the engine and was concerned that it might catch fire.”
The quick-thinking man flagged down a cement truck driver, knowing the truck had a water supply and a hose to deliver the water. He used the cement truck’s equipment to douse the SUV’s engine until firefighters arrived with extraction equipment less than five minutes later.
The act of removing the driver, though, was tricky because the front end of his vehicle was almost completely smashed in. After much work, the man was finally removed and transported to a local hospital to get his life-threatening wounds taken care of.
“It took firefighters 23 minutes to free the individual in this complicated and technically challenging extrication,” a fireman revealed after talking to area authorities.
As is the case in most accidents involving a smaller vehicle, the semi truck driver was uninjured.
The Bronx/Brooklyn driver of the flipped car was able to extricate himself and was unharmed.
The reason the SUV veered is unclear at this time.
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