Back to News

DECEMBER 2, 2005


Route 1 South, in front of Joe's Crab Shack,
Lawrence Township

During the evening of Friday, December 2, 2005, Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers helped extricate an injured man from the wreckage of his station wagon after it crashed on Route 1.

The accident occurred just before 7:10 p.m. on the southbound side of Route 1 in the area of Joe's Crab Shack restaurant.

According to police, the 50-year-old man was driving south when he lost control of his 1989 Subaru wagon and the vehicle slammed into the road's concrete divider.

The vehicle suffered heavy front-end damage and spun about so that it came to rest facing west in Route 1's southbound lanes with the driver trapped inside.

Lawrence Road Capt. Shaun Dlabik, who happened to be driving south on Route 1 at the time, came upon the accident just minutes after it occurred.

Dlabik positioned his personal vehicle to shield the wrecked station wagon and actived his vehicle's blue warning lights to alert other approaching motorists of the accident.

Dlabik used his radio to contact Mercer County Central Communications Center. Reporting that he had one person injured and trapped, he requested that a full rescue assignment be dispatched.

At 7:11 p.m. Mercer County Central transmitted Box 23-50 and dispatched the Lawrenceville Fire Co. (Station 23), Rescue 22 from Lawrence Road Fire Co., and Rescue 21 from Slackwood Fire Co.

Also dispatched at that time were a Lawrence First Aid Squad ambulance, a Capital Health System paramedic unit and police.

Lawrenceville Chief Dave Burns responded in Car 23 at 7:11 p.m., followed by Slackwood Chief Michael Oakley in Car 21 and Lawrence Road Chief Wayne Hannon in Car 22 at 7:13 p.m.

Rescue 22 also responded at 7:13 p.m. with Capt. Michael Byrd in command, Capt. Michael Ratcliffe driving, and a crew that included Ff. Brian Laue, Ff. R.J. Laird, Ff. Ryan Dlabik and Ff. Charles Commini Jr. Rescue 21 and Rescue 23 both signed on radio at 7:15 p.m.

Burns arrived on location at 7:18 p.m., followed by Oakley at 7:19 p.m.

Rescue 22 reached the scene at 7:21 p.m. and took a position near the wrecked station wagon.

Ratcliffe raised Rescue 22's telescopic light tower to illuminate the scene and engaged the apparatus' pump as Byrd stretched a charged 1.75-inch hoseline to protect rescue personnel.

The rest of Rescue 22's crew, meanwhile, deployed their Holmatro rescue tools to begin extrication efforts.

Rescue 23 arrived at 7:22 p.m. and took a position behind Rescue 22. Rescue 21 then arrived at 7:24 p.m. Hannon arrived at 7:26 p.m.
Lawrence Road Ff. Joseph Dlabik Sr., who also happened to be traveling on Route 1 at the time, also stopped at the crash scene to render his assistance.

Using Rescue 22's Holmatro Combi-Tool and O-Cutter, firefighters quickly cut away both driver's side doors and the driver's side B Post to allow EMS crews access to the injured man.

The man was removed from the wreckage by 7:31 p.m. and was then transported by Ambulance 129-2 to Capital Health System at Fuld hospital in Trenton. Police said his injuries were not life-threatening.

During extrication efforts, police kept all southbound lanes closed to traffic except for the left-most lane, which cars used to slowly move past the accident scene.

Rescue 21 was released from the scene at 7:40 p.m. Rescue 22 and Rescue 23 both cleared the scene at 7:47 p.m. Rescue 22 was back in quarters by 7:53 p.m.

All photos copyright (c) 2005 by Michael Ratcliffe.

Top of page