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APRIL 15, 2006


Quakerbridge Road at Avalon Way
Lawrence Township

Lawrence Road Fire Co. volunteers were among the emergency personnel who responded to a one-vehicle accident on Quakerbridge Road and Avalon Way on Saturday, April 15, 2006.

At 1:47 p.m. Mercer County Central Communications Center transmitted Box 23-50 and dispatched Lawrenceville Fire Co. (Station 23), Rescue 22 from Lawrence Road Fire Co., and Rescue 21 from Slackwood Fire Co. for a car into a utility pole with possible entrapment.

Lawrenceville Chief Dave Burns, Lawrence Road Chief Wayne Hannon and Slackwood Chief Mike Oakley all responded in their respective chiefís cars at 1:48 p.m. Also responding at 1:48 p.m. in Car 22-1 was Lawrence Road Deputy Chief Chris Pangaldi. Rescue 21, Rescue 22 and Rescue 23 all responded at 1:49 p.m.

Rescue 22 was commanded by Capt. Michael Ratcliffe, driven by Ff. Charles Commini Sr., and crewed by Assistant Chief Shaun Dlabik, Capt. Edward Kitchen, Ff. Ryan Dlabik, Ff. Joseph Dlabik Jr., Ff. Charles Commini Jr., and Ff. Matthew Farletta.

As units were responding, Plainsboro Fire Department Deputy Chief Doug Vorp arrived on location and advised Mercer County Central that a Nissan Maxima had struck a utility pole.

He reported that the pole was snapped in half and live electrical wires were lying across both sides of Quakerbridge Road. The engine compartment of the Maxima was also smoking. The driver of the car was injured but had self-extricated.

All responding units were advised to access the scene from Lawrence Station Road.

Burns arrived at 1:53 p.m., followed by Pangaldi and Oakley at 1:54 p.m., then Hannon at 1:55 p.m.

Rescue 21 arrived at 1:55 p.m. and was ordered by Burns to stage at Lawrence Station Road and Quakerbridge Road.

Rescue 22 arrived at 1:56 p.m. Rescue 22 was ordered by Burns to proceed north in the southbound side of Quakerbridge Road, take a position next to the wrecked Maxima, and assess the situation. Although the bulk of the fire had already been knocked down by someone using a dry chemical extinguisher, Rescue 22ís crew stretched a 1.75-inch hoseline as a precaution.

Rescue 23 also arrived at 1:56 p.m., accessing the scene via Avalon Way. Rescue 23ís crew helped Rescue 22ís crew open the carís hood to hose down the engine compartment.

EMS personnel, meanwhile, attended to the carís injured driver. The driver was then transported by ambulance to the hospital.

Once the car fire was confirmed to be out, Rescue 22 and Rescue 21 were recalled by Burns at 2:09 p.m.. Rescue 23 remained on scene until 2:25 p.m. until the car was towed away.

Rescue 22 was back in quarters by 2:25 p.m.

Because the downed electrical lines blocked both sides of Quakerbridge Road, traffic in both directions was detoured until PSE&G utility crews arrived and secured the power.

All photos copyright (c) 2006 by Michael Ratcliffe.

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