MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT WITH ENTRAPMENT Interstate 95, between Exits 7 & 8,
On the morning of Friday, July 4, 2003, Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers responded to help out at the scene of a motor vehicle accident in which a sport utility vehicle flipped over multiple times on Interstate 95.
The accident happened shortly before 8:45 a.m. when the driver of the SUV, identified as a 21-year-old woman recently from Florida, allegedly fell asleep at the wheel, according to state police.
At that time, she was driving north on Interstate 95 between the exits for Route 206 (Exit 7) and Princeton Pike (Exit 8).
According to state police, her SUV veered off the road onto the highway’s center grass median, where it overturned.
The vehicle flipped several times before coming to rest back on its wheel near the southbound side of the interstate. During the rollover, the driver’s 22-year-old husband was ejected from the vehicle.
The woman, who was eight months pregnant, was trapped in the driver’s seat of the SUV, while another passenger, identified as her 15-year-old brother, was able to free himself from the wreckage, state police said.
A Lawrence Township police officer who was driving along Interstate 95 at that time witnessed the crash and immediately radioed his dispatcher.
As a result, at 8:45 a.m., the Lawrence First Aid Squad, Lawrenceville Fire Co., and Rescue 22 from Lawrence Road were all dispatched by Lawrence Control.
Ambulance 129-1, Rescue 23, and Rescue 22 all responded at 8:47 a.m., followed by Telesquirt 23 and Utility 23 at 8:51 a.m.
Rescue 22 was commanded by Lt. Shaun Dlabik. Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr. drove, with Lt. Michael Byrd, Lt. Michael Ratcliffe, Ff. Chris Dlabik, Ff. Charlie Commini, Ff. Chris Longo, and Ff. Joseph Dlabik Jr. as the crew.
Ambulance 129-1 arrived at 8:49 a.m., followed by Rescue 23 and Rescue 22 both at 8:50 a.m. Arrival times for Telesquirt 23 and Utility 23 were not logged.
Apparatus staged at the edge of the grass median in the northbound fast lane.
Rescue 23’s crew immediately went to work on the vehicle with their Hurst tool while Rescue 22’s crew was told by Lawrenceville Deputy Chief Mike Yeh to stand by.
Rescue 22’s crew pulled out some of their Holmatro tools and got them ready to go as a precaution, just in case they became needed.
Members of Rescue 22’s crew eventually helped stabilize the car using cribbing from Rescue 23. They also helped remove the vehicle’s windshield. Chris Dlabik also manned a charged booster line from Rescue 23.
Rescue 23’s crew cut off the driver’s door and then Lawrenceville firefighters and EMS personnel removed the woman from the vehicle onto as backboard. The extrication was completed by 8:58 a.m.
Other EMS units, meanwhile, arrived and attended to the other two victims. All three victims were transported via ambulance to the trauma center at Saint Mary Medical Center in Middletown, Pa.
State police initially reported that the woman’s most serious injury was a broken arm. However, after she arrived at the hospital, doctors reportedly found that she had suffered fractures to her C-5 and C-6 vertebrae.
Her husband reportedly suffered back and head injuries and her 15-year-old brother suffered minor cuts, state police said.
Rescue 22 cleared the scene at 9 a.m. and was back in quarters by 9:07 a.m.