FATAL MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT Interstate 295, milepost 67.2,
Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers were among the emergency personnel who responded to a fatal one-vehicle accident on Interstate 295 on the morning of Friday, September 2, 2005.
The victim (a 23-year-old woman from Bucks County, Pa.) was driving her Saab in the left southbound lane of I-295 near milepost 67.2, just south of the Route 1 exit, when her car drifted to the left and rode over the “rumble strips,” the grooves etched in the road to warn motorists they are straying from the lanes of travel, according to the state police.
State police said they think the woman over-corrected, causing her car to shoot across all three southbound lanes and the right shoulder. The car then plunged down the grass-covered embankment and flipped on its side after its driver’s side slammed into a tree, uprooting the tree.
State police said the woman died instantly.
It was 9:04 a.m. when Mercer County Central Communications Center transmitted Box 23-50 and dispatched Lawrenceville Fire Co. (Station 23), Rescue 22 from Lawrence Road and Rescue 21 from Slackwood Fire Co.
Also dispatched about that time were an ambulance from Lawrence First Aid Squad and a Capital Health System paramedic unit.
Lawrenceville Chief Dave Burns and Telesquirt 23 responded at 9:04 a.m., followed by Rescue 22 at 9:05 a.m., Rescue 21 at 9:07 a.m. and Rescue 23 at 9:09 a.m.
Rescue 22 was commanded by Deputy Chief John Fleming, driven by Paid Driver Robert Santello, and crewed by Ff. Steve Amiott, Ff. R.J. Laird and Ff. Joseph Dlabik Jr.
Burns, Telesquirt 23 and Ambulance 129-2 all arrived on the scene at 9:08 a.m., followed by Rescue 22 at 9:10 a.m., and Rescue 21 and Rescue 23 both at 9:13 a.m.
Firefighters began setting up rescue equipment and a precautionary 1.75-inch hoseline was stretched from Telesquirt 23, but EMS personnel and firefighters quickly confirmed that the woman was already deceased, her body trapped in the mangled wreckage.
Because the woman was already dead and efforts to recover her body could not begin until the state police’s fatal accident unit had completed their investigation, Burns recalled Rescue 22 and Rescue 21 at 9:16 a.m.
Rescue 22 cleared the scene at 9:18 a.m. and was back in quarters at Station 22 by 9:28 a.m.
Rescue 23 and Telesquirt 23, meanwhile, remained on scene for several hours and, once given the go-ahead from the state police, extricated the woman’s body, which was then removed by an official from the Mercer County Medical Examiner’s Office.