MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT WITH ENTRAPMENT Whitehead Road near Lakedale Drive,
On the evening of Monday, January 5, 2004, Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers responded with Rescue 22 to assist Slackwood Fire Co. at the scene of a three-vehicle accident with entrapment on Whitehead Road.
The accident occurred around 5:45 p.m. on the eastbound side of Whitehead Road when the car driven by a 26-year-old Hamilton Township woman slammed into the rear of the minivan driven by a 49-year-old Hamilton Township woman, which in turn struck the rear of the car driven by a 45-year-old Lawrence Township woman, according to police.
The 45-year-old Lawrence woman's Honda Accord had been stopped in the left eastbound lane because she had been waiting for a break in westbound traffic so she could make a left turn onto Lakedale Drive. The 49-year-old woman's Chevy Venture minivan had also been stopped in the left eastbound lane while waiting for the Honda Accord to turn.
The 26-year-old woman, driving a Chrysler Sebring, was driving east in the left lane behind a sport utility vehicle. She told police the SUV was so tall it prevented her from seeing the two vehicles stopped ahead of her. She only saw them after the SUV suddenly swerved into the right eastbound lane to avoid them. By then it was too late, she told police, and her car hit the rear of the minivan, forcing the minivan into the rear of the Honda Accord.
The minivan's driver and her passenger, her 17-year-old son, suffered neck and back injuries.
Lawrence First Aid Squad was initially dispatched. Once they arrived on location, Squad 129 personnel discovered that the 17-year-old was trapped in his seat by the minivanís jammed passengerís side door.
Lawrence First Aid Squad Deputy Chief David Veres immediately requested that a rescue assignment be dispatched, along with a mutual aid ambulance from Trenton. At 5:55 p.m. Slackwood Fire Co., Lawrence Roadís Rescue 22 and Rescue 129 from the first aid squad were all toned out.
Slackwood Chief Mark Lenarski responded at 5:56 p.m., followed at 5:57 p.m. by Slackwood Deputy Chief Michael Oakley, and Chief John Fleming in Car 22. Rescue 22 and Engine 21-1 both signed on radio at 5:58 p.m.
Rescue 22 was commanded by Rescue Capt. Andrew Fosina and driven by Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr., with Lt. Shaun Dlabik, Ff. Chris Dlabik and Ff. Ryan Quill as crew.
Lenarski and Oakley both arrived at 5:58 p.m., followed by Engine 21-1 at 5:59 p.m. Fleming arrived at 6 p.m., followed seconds later by Utility 21 (which had responded one minute earlier) and then Rescue 22 at 6:01 p.m.
Engine 21-1ís crew immediately stretched and charged a 1.75-inch hoseline as a precaution, while Rescue 22ís crew prepared their Holmatro tools. After the minivan was cribbed, Shaun Dlabik used the Combi-Tool to quickly pop open the jammed passengerís side door. (The door pop was completed in seconds.)
Quill, meanwhile, worked with Engine 21-1ís crew to cut the battery cables of the minivan as a precaution.
Fosina, Shaun Dlabik and Chris Dlabik then helped EMS personnel remove the 17-year-old from the minivan and secure him to a backboard. He and his mother were then transported by Squad 129 to the Capital Health System at Fuld hospital in Trenton.
The Honda Accord's 45-year-old driver and her two passengers, her 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, also were slightly injured and taken by the Trenton ambulance to Fuld. Police said the Chrysler Sebring's 26-year-old driver complained of knee pain, but declined medical care.
Rescue 22 and Fleming both went available from the accident scene at 6:17 p.m. and Rescue 22 signed off radio back in quarters by 6:28 p.m. Engine 21-1 and Utility 21, meanwhile, remained on location until 7:07 p.m. to help police with lighting and stand by while tow trucks removed the wreckage.