Colleton County Fire-Rescue


Stations 1, 2, 6 and 9 responded to a high speed fatal motor vehicle collision in the 11500 block of ACE Basin Parkway (US Hwy. 17, about 1 mile north of the Ashepoo River), Monday 1-December at 1807. The four car accident occurred on a two lane stretch of this dangerous highway. According to persons at the scene, a southbound Oldsmobile Cutlass was run off of the road by a northbound vehicle who was passing another car. The Cutlass began to spin out of control while returning to the pavement, crossed the southbound lane and entered the northbound lane. The Cutlass was struck in the rear by a northbound Toyota Camry. Both vehicles received heavy damage in the collision. The Cutlass came to rest in the ditch on the northbound side of the highway near the wood line, while the Camry was thrown to the southbound shoulder. A fourth vehicle, a northbound Ford compact, was struck in the driver's side doors and rear quarter panel. 

The drivers of the Ford and Camry, who were both wearing seatbelts, were not injured, despite the heavy damage to the Camry the female driver walked away with no injuries. The Cutlass suffered massive damage to the rear of the small car, with the rear bumper and rear tires on the driver's side displaced to the back of the front seats. An infant was in the rear seat with her mother, but was

securely fastened in a child safety seat. The mother, who was not wearing a seatbelt, suffered critical injuries in the crash. She was trapped in the wreckage, pinned between the seats and vehicle roof. The driver and front seat passenger, who were wearing seatbelts, received only minor injuries.   
Firefighter-Paramedics from Station 6 in Green Pond and Station 2 in Jacksonboro, arrived within minutes to find the entire highway blocked. Traffic was backed up in both directions creating problems for emergency crews trying to reach the scene on the two lane section of road. Recent rains the night before caused the shoulders to be soggy and soft preventing emergency vehicles from parking on the grass shoulders. Additional firefighters and one additional ambulance were dispatched to the accident to assist with the number of injured and the extrication. A medical helicopter also responded to the scene. A MUSC Meducare ambulance returning to Charleston as well as two off duty Charleston firefighters who were stuck in the traffic, also assisted. 

The Oldsmobile's fuel tank was ruptured, spreading gasoline around the accident scene and inside the car. Firefighters stood by with charged handlines to protect the patient and other crew members while the extrication was in

 progress.  Firefighters used hydraulic rescue tools to cut the roof off of the car and gain access to the patient. The patient stopped breathing during the extrication requiring Firefighter-Paramedics to intubate the woman while she was still trapped in the car. It took about 25 minutes to free the 43 year old woman from the wreckage. She was quickly moved to a waiting ambulance for transport to a nearby field to meet with the medical helicopter, however she went into cardiac arrest before reaching the helicopter. Due to the cardiac arrest, she was then transported to Colleton Medical Center in Walterboro. The hospital staff diligently worked for nearly 40 minutes to resuscitate the patient, but she succumbed to her injuries. It is difficult for helicopter crews to work cardiac arrest patients in the small confines of most medical helicopters. These patients generally require more resources and personnel than are available on a helicopter. 

The baby was transported by the Meducare Ambulance directly to the Pediatric Trauma Center at MUSC in Charleston. The baby was doing well later in the evening. The remaining adult patients were transported to Colleton Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. ACE Basin Parkway was blocked for three hours due to the accident while the Highway Patrol conducted their

 investigation and the vehicles were removed. The vehicle that reportedly caused the accident did not stop. It was possibly a red in color minivan. Anyone with information related to the vehicle are encouraged to contact the Highway Patrol at 843-953-6010 or 1-800-768-1506.