Rock Hill, Fort Mill, York SC Accidents and Injuries Legal Blog

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Serious Accident


Emergency crews have freed a woman trapped in her car for about an hour after it collided with a crane on Alexander Love Highway near York Comprehensive High School.

Police, fire and medical workers were called to the school at 8:14 a.m. after the mobile crane and the car collided, said Capt. Brian Trail of the York Police Department.

Firefighters used the “jaws of life” to extract the woman through the back of the vehicle.

They were able to use the crane’s suspension to lift the truck off the car, while at the same time using wenches attached to the back of service vehicles to pull the car, said York Fire Chief Domenic Manerah.

Emergency personnel worked for an almost an hour to free the woman, whose head had been trapped beneath the hook of the crane and some debris.

“The hook on the crane was beyond her head,” Manerah said. “Her head (was) beneath that truck and debris.”

As soon as fire crews arrived on scene, they called for a med-evac helicopter.

The woman was still talking and communicating with her rescuers when she was taken from the car, Trail said.

She also looked to be in “decent” condition, said York Police Chief Andy Robinson. Officials would not give details on the extent of her injuries.

The helicopter took the woman to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for treatment.

“I’m very surprised it wasn’t worse,” Robinson said. “She’s very fortunate.

“The fire department did a great job getting her out.”

Robinson said he didn’t foresee any charges being filed.

A preliminary investigation indicates the woman had dropped a child off at school, Trail said, and when she drove out of the parking lot, she pulled into the path of the oncoming crane.

The crane struck her car on the driver’s side and pushed the vehicle a short distance.

Drew Hodge, the crane’s driver, was not injured.

As rescue crews worked to free the woman, Hodge, 35, waited and watched.

He was driving the C.F. Reece & Son crane truck past York Comprehensive High, he said, when the woman pulled out in the road and he didn’t have time to react or stop.

“I was right on her when she pulled out,” he said.

Hodge has been driving for the company “on-and-off” for nearly seven years, he said. He returned to work full time this year.

“I just hope the lady’s all right,” Hodge said. “I ain’t worried about anything else. I think we’re all lucky.”

While rescue crews worked to free the woman outside, most students at York Comprehensive High were already in the school attending classes, said Matt Brown, assistant superintendent for York School District 1.

Students who usually enter the school through the Alexander Love Highway parking lot were redirected to enter at Lincoln Road, Brown said.

The “younger” woman was not a parent, Brown said, but he was unsure if she was related to the student she had dropped off.

By early Monday morning, school officials were still trying to get in touch with the student’s family.

York police, fire and rescue units, as well as emergency crews from Piedmont Medical Center and CMC, were on the scene.

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