Colleton County Fire-Rescue


Stations 1, 8, 9, 13, 19, 26 and 27 responded to a multi-casualty MVC involving two vehicles on I-95 at the 43 mile marker southbound. The accident occurred at 1430, Tuesday 30-December when a southbound tractor trailer struck the rear of a mini-van at a high rate of speed. The mini-van sustained heavy damage and was pushed into the wooded median, where it struck several trees. After the initial dispatch, information began flooding into the 9-1-1 Center reporting up to seven patients, several trapped in the wreckage, one ejection and one patient not breathing. Firefighter-Paramedic Scarborough and Firefighter-EMT-I S. O'Quinn, both off duty, arrived within minutes verifying the reports. Five patients were trapped in the wreckage; one trapped patient was DOA and the ejected man was critical. Medics 9, 19 and 102 were assigned to the incident and three medical helicopters were requested. Heavy holiday traffic was already at a stand still, with traffic backup for four miles, slowing the response of incoming units. Engine 13, Rescue 1 and Battalion Chief Stallings arrived approximately 8 minutes after dispatch. They went to work treating patients and planning the extrication.
An additional Engine and manpower from station 8 were requested.

Unit 38 was assigned LZ Sector. The Landing Zone was established on the highway south of the accident site. Unit 25 was assigned Rescue Sector. The vehicle was stabilized and the battery was isolated. The rear of the vehicle had sustained heavy damage. Firefighter-Paramedics were attending to the ejected patient who was found in the wooded area near the front of the mini-van. He was packaged and moved to Medic 27. Crew members used a chainsaw to remove several small trees to provide access to the driver's side of the vehicle. Other crew members used Holmatro hydraulic cutters to sever the upper rear hatch supports to remove the rear hatch. This provided good, wide access to the rear of the mini-van. Crews began accessing the patients in the rear of the vehicle. Access to the passenger side was restricted due to a pile of dirt and several large trees. A Holmatro hydraulic spreader was used to force open and remove the driver's side sliding door to gain access to the female patient in the seat behind the driver. She was unrestrained and in an awkward position. An ECG verified she was deceased. Two Holmatro hydraulic cutters were used to

cut the seat supports on the rear seats to allow them to be removed. The Meducare helicopter arrived within 20 minutes.

The spreaders were then used to force open and remove the driver's door to gain access to the female driver. She was extricated and moved to Medic 19.

The ejected patient was loaded on to the Meducare Helicopter as the Lifestar Helicopter was landing. All patients were packaged with C-spine precautions during the extrications. One patient lost consciousness. A total of six patients were freed from the wreckage. Two were flown to the Medical University Trauma Center in Charleston and one to Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Ga. After 1-1/2 hours, the last helicopter cleared the scene, so one lane of the Interstate was reopened. The Highway Patrol MAIT arrived to reconstruct the accident. Most Fire-Rescue units cleared the scene within 2 hours. Battalion 1 and Engine 1 remained on scene to provide lighting for the Highway Patrol while they conducted their investigation. Reports indicated traffic backed up over 21 miles. DOT and SCHP diverted traffic to US Hwy 17-A.


Engine 1, Engine 13, Engine 26, Rescue 1, Medic 9, Medic 19, Medic 27, Medic 102, Battalion 1, Truck 11, Truck 12, Truck 110 and Truck 116 responded.

Meducare, Lifestar, Lifenet, SCHP, Transport Police, SCDOT and CCSO also responded.