Back to News

JULY 25, 2005


Brunswick Pike and Slack Avenue,
Lawrence Township

Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers helped extricate a man and his wife who were trapped in the wreckage of their car after it collided with a sport utility vehicle on Monday, July 25, 2005.

The accident occurred when the car, being driven by a 57-year-old man, and the SUV, being operated by a 21-year-old man, collided at the intersection of Brunswick Pike and Slack Avenue.

It was 2:05 p.m. when Box 21-10 was transmitted and firefighters from the Slackwood (Station 21), Lawrence Road (Station 22) and Lawrenceville (Station 23) fire companies were dispatched.

Because Lawrence First Aid Squad's duty crew was tied up on another incident, mutual aid ambulances from the City of Trenton and Ewing Township were also sent, along with a Capital Health System paramedic unit.

Telesquirt 23, which was already on the road enroute to refuel at the township garage, responded immediately at 2:05 p.m.

Chief Wayne Hannon signed on radio at 2:06 p.m. in Car 22.

Rescue 21 responded at 2:07 p.m. and arrived on scene just seconds later since the accident scene was only a hundred feet or so from the Slackwood firehouse.

Rescue 22 responded at 2:08 p.m. with Capt. Michael Ratcliffe in command, Paid Driver Robert Santello driving and a crew that included Ff. Matt Farletta, Ff. Joseph Dlabik Jr., Ff. Steve Hodgdon, and Ff. Charles Commini Jr.

Telesquirt 23 arrived on location at 2:08 p.m., followed by Hannon at 2:10 p.m. and then Rescue 22 at 2:11 p.m.

Rescue 23, which signed on radio at 2:09 p.m., arrived at 2:16 p.m.

When they arrived, firefighters found the car resting on the sidewalk pinned between the SUV and concrete posts located in front of the Cregar car lot.

The driver of the car was injured and trapped in his seat. His passenger (his 48-year-old wife) was also hurt but not trapped. The driver of the SUV was not injured.

Slackwood and Lawrenceville firefighters cribbed the car, while Lawrence Road firefighters retrieved the EMS jump bag from Rescue 22 and placed cervical collars around the necks of both patients prior to the arrival of EMS personnel.

Once both patients were stabilized, firefighters pushed the SUV back away from the car to allow crews access to the crushed driver's side.

Ratcliffe and Commini then climbed into the rear of the car to hold manual stabilization on the patients' necks while extrication efforts got underway.

While members of Telesquirt 23's crew, assisted by Hodgdon, stood by with a charged 1.75-inch hoseline, Rescue 21's crew deployed their Hurst tools on the passenger's side of the car and Rescue 22's crew went to work on the driver's side with their Holmatro tools.

Slackwood firefighters removed the windshield and cut the A post on the passenger's side. Their efforts on the passenger's side were delayed because EMS personnel were working to remove the injured woman from her seat.

Dlabik and Farletta, meanwhile, used Lawrence Road's Holmatro Combi-Tool and O-Cutter to cut off both doors on the driver's side and cut the A and B Posts on the driver's side. They then helped Rescue 21's crew cut the B Post on the passenger's side.

Once the posts were cut, relief cuts were made to the roof on both sides and then firefighters lifted the roof and folded it back out of the way to allow EMS personnel access to the injured driver.

The woman was removed from the car at 2:26 p.m., while her husband was extricated by 2:37 p.m. They were both transported to the Capital Health System at Fuld hospital in Trenton.

Rescue 23, Telesquirt 23 and Telesquirt 22 all cleared the scene by 2:47 p.m., while Slackwood firefighters remained on scene for some time longer to assist police investigators.

Top of page