Colleton County Fire-Rescue
29/March/2018 – Fatal MVC with Air Evac – “B” Shift
Incident # 18-02218 – While crews were working a MVC with entrapment on Robertson Blvd, 9-1-1 Operators began receiving reports of a High Speed MVC on I-95 near the 63 mile marker north bound. The incident occurred Thursday evening 29-March at 19:34. Callers reported a motorhome had crashed in the median and was on fire. Colleton Fire-Rescue units arrived quickly and found the motorhome fully involved and an approx. ½ acre woods fire in the median. Northbound traffic was already stopped, but the number of emergency vehicles blocked both lanes. The northbound motorhome left the roadway at a high rate of speed and struck several trees. The vehicle suffered heavy damage and the large Volvo cab was turned 90 degrees on the frame. A passerby, Timothy Hunley from NC, stopped and pulled an injured 40 year old woman from the burning vehicle, saving her life. The woman’s husband, who was the driver, was missing. Firefighter-Paramedics began treating the woman, who suffered multiple life threatening injuries in addition to receiving 30-40% third degree burns. The man who pulled her out of the vehicle also received burns, but he denied transportation to the hospital. Firefighter-Paramedics deployed multiple handlines to combat the fire from the northbound lanes and searched the area for the missing driver. Several LP tanks exploded, sending debris flying in both directions. As a safety measure the southbound lanes of I-95 were closed as well until the fire was knocked down. Fire apparatus was also positioned on the southbound side to assist in extinguishing the vehicle and woods fires. Water for the firefighting effort was provided with Tenders who shuttled water to the scene.
The C.A.R.E. Flight medical helicopter was called to the scene. They landed on I-95 north of the accident. The Tampa FL woman was transferred to the flight crew, then flown in critical condition to the Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta Georgia. Crews worked for about 25 minutes to bring the fire under control and continued to extinguish hot spots for several hours. After about 35 minutes, units on the southbound side were moved to the northbound side to allow southbound traffic to move freely, however it was backed up over 5 miles. Both northbound lanes remained blocked for 1-1/2 hours. One lane was reopened around 21:00. Most traffic was using the McLeod Road exit to get off of the Interstate and detour to Jefferies Hwy. (US Hwy 15). Even with one northbound lane open, traffic continued to back up about six miles south of the accident. Once the fire was extinguished, Firefighter-Paramedics located the driver’s body in the mangled cab. He was trapped in the wreckage and severely burned. The Coroner’s Office was notified and responded to the scene. After their investigation was completed, crews removed him from the wreckage and the Coroner’s Office transported his body. One northbound lane remained closed for four hours. The SC Highway Patrol is investigating the accident. Sheriff’s Deputies assisted with traffic control.
Engine 5, Engine 26, Tender 1, Tender 5, Tender 19, Tender 26, Tender 27, Medic 26, Medic 13, Rescue 1, Battalion 1, Car 107, Car 112 and Car 118 responded. Battalion Chief Brent Dalton served as Incident Commander.
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