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APRIL 2, 2005


Route 1 Freeway near Whitehead Road,
Lawrence Township

On the afternoon of Saturday, April 2, 2005, volunteers from Lawrence Road Fire Co. were among the emergency personnel who responded to a motor vehicle accident with entrapment in Lawrence Township.

The accident occurred during a heavy rain storm on the northbound side of the Route 1 Freeway just south of the exit for Whitehead Road.

It was 12:27 p.m. when Mercer County Central Communications Center transmitted Box 21-10 and dispatched the Slackwood Fire Co. (Station 21), Rescue 22 from Lawrence Road Fire Co., and Rescue 23 from Lawrenceville Fire Co.

Rescue 1 and the Trenton Fire Department’s extrication task force were also automatically dispatched as per the box alarm.

Rescue 22 was commanded by Assistant Chief Chris Pangaldi, driven by Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr., and manned by a crew that included Ff. Steven Amiott, Ff. R.J. Laird, Ff. Charles Commini Jr. and Ff. Joseph Dlabik Jr.

Lawrence Road Chief Wayne Hannon also responded in Car 22.

Slackwood Chief Michael Oakley arrived on scene and established command. He found a car flipped over onto its roof with one person trapped inside.

Oakley ordered Rescue 21’s crew to stabilize the vehicle and begin extrication efforts. He then ordered Rescue 22’s crew to stretch a charged 1.75-inch hoseline to protect emergency personnel during the extrication efforts.

The extrication was quickly completed, with the victim removed from the vehicle by about 12:42 p.m. The victim was then transported to Capital Health System at Fuld hospital by ambulance.

As their services were not needed, Trenton firefighters were recalled. Rescue 23 and Snorkel 21, meanwhile, were released from the accident scene to respond to a fire alarm activation call in Lawrenceville’s fire district.

Police said they were investigating if the car flipped over after hydroplaning on the wet roadway.

A more detailed account of this incident will be posted in the near future.

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