COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A North Carolina truck driver miraculously survived a high-speed motor vehicle collision that destroyed his semi on Thursday morning.
According to officials, at approximately 2:50 the Colleton 911 received several reports of a tractor-trailer truck that left the roadway and struck several trees near the 47-mile marker.
The semi-truck left the roadway at high speeds, crossed a ditch, then entered the woods striking multiple trees, before hitting two large pine trees head-on, according to officials. The report added that the cab was crushed and displaced.
The trailer came apart as nearly the entire load of 50-pound boxes of frozen beef trim were propelled forward pushing the rear of the sleeper into the trees. The driver was trapped in a small “V” shaped area of approximately 8 to 12 inches in width, between the dash and the rear of the sleeper.
The man suffered from multiple traumatic injuries and a head injury. The driver stated there were three people in the vehicle with him. Additional ambulances and two medical helicopters were requested. C.A.R.E. Flight flew to the Southbound Rest Area as Fire-Rescue units established a landing zone there, so they would not block the Interstate during the extended extrication.
Two separate crews worked independently on the rear of the cab and the passenger side in attempts to gain access to the man. The driver’s side was crushed into one of the pine trees and was inaccessible. The man’s dog received non-life threatening injuries and extricated early in the incident. Animal Control responded to the scene to transport the canine.
According to the report, an IV was established so fluids and pain medications could be administered. The man provided a telephone number for a family member. After two and a half hours, the man was extricated through the rear wall of the sleeper, immobilized and moved to Fire-Rescue Medic 19.
He was transported to the southbound rest area to meet with C.A.R.E. Flight, then transferred to the Flight Crew and flown to the Trauma Center at MUSC in Charleston. Traffic on southbound I-95 was down to one lane for three hours.
The South Carolina Patrol and State Transport Police are investigating the accident.