MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT WITH ENTRAPMENT Interstate 95,
On the afternoon of Thursday, October 2, 2003, firefighters from Lawrence Road Fire Co. took part in a complicated extrication effort following a four-vehicle accident on Interstate 95.
The accident occurred at about 5:05 p.m. on I-95 between the exits for Route 1 and Princeton Pike. It apparently started on the northbound side of the highway when a 19-year-old Hamilton woman lost control of her Chevrolet Lumina for an unknown reason, according to the state police.
The 19-year-old's car drifted from the left northbound lane into the center northbound lane, where it hit the car driven by a 25-year-old woman from West Creek. After that glancing collision, the 19-year-old's car veered across I-95ís center grass median and entered the southbound lanes where, still traveling north, it slammed head-on into the southbound pickup truck driven by a 44-year-old Ewing Township man.
The 19-year-old's car, which by then was heavily damaged, came to a stop, but the Ford pickup truck kept moving and hit a southbound Honda Accord driven by a 52-year-old man from Middletown, Pa.
The 19-year-old woman, who suffered a broken arm and other injuries, was trapped inside her wrecked Lumina.
At 5:10 p.m., Lawrenceville and Lawrence Road fire companies were dispatched.
At 5:11 p.m., Lawrenceville Chief Don Huber, enroute with Ladder Tower 23 to a special assignment, signed on radio, followed one minute later by Lawrenceville Deputy Chief Mike Yeh in his own vehicle.
Rescue 22 and Rescue 23 both responded at 5:14 p.m.
Rescue 22 was commanded by Rescue Capt. Andrew Fosina, driven by Lt. Shaun Dlabik, and manned by a crew of Lt. Michael Byrd, Ff. Chris Dlabik, Ff. Joseph Dlabik Jr., Ff. Charles Commini, and Junior Ff. Ryan Dlabik.
At 5:14 p.m. Huber, in Ladder Tower 23, arrived on location and confirmed that there was entrapment.
Utility 23 responded at 5:17 p.m.
Deputy 23 arrived on scene at 5:18 p.m., followed by both Rescue 22 and Rescue 23 at 5:19 p.m. Utility 23 arrived at 5:21 p.m.
Firefighters conferred with EMS personnel and determined that, to free the 19-year-old from the crumbled wreckage of her car, it would be necessary to remove the roof and perform a dashboard displacement.
Lawrenceville firefighters were assigned the driverís side of the Lumina and the crew from Rescue 22 was instructed to attend to the passengerís side.
To protect emergency workers and the trapped woman, 200 feet of 1.75-inch hose was stretched from Rescue 22 and charged and manned by Chris Dlabik.
Byrd, using the Rescue 22ís Holmatro Combi-Tool, removed the front passengerís side door of the car. Commini, using the O-Cutter, then cut away the A, B and C Posts on the passengerís side.
After completing all the necessary cuts on the passengerís side, Commini moved to the driverís side and cut the driverís side B and C Posts. (The A Post and the driverís door were removed by Lawrenceville firefighters.)
The Luminaís roof was then lifted out of the way. Fosina and Joseph Dlabik Jr. then set up a ram on the passengerís side, while Rescue 23ís crew set up one of their rams on the driverís side. The dash was then raised off the 19-year-old's legs.
The 19-year-old was then extricated from the wreckage by 5:39 p.m. and was transported to the trauma unit at Capital Health System at Fuld hospital in Trenton. The pickup's driver, who suffered a cut to the head, as well as back and neck pain, was also taken to Fuld. Neither of the other two drivers was hurt. An ambulance from the Trenton Emergency Medical Service helped Lawrence First Aid Squad with the transports.
After the extrication was completed, Rescue 22ís crew gathered their equipment and went available at 5:52 p.m. Rescue 22 was back in quarters by 6:02 p.m. (Lawrenceville firefighters cleared the scene by 6:06 p.m.)
Because of the accident, all three southbound lanes of I-95, as well the ramps leading onto the interstate from Route 1, were closed for about an hour. During that time, I-95ís southbound shoulder was used to funnel all southbound traffic past the wrecked vehicles and emergency equipment.