A serious accident involving a passenger sedan and tractor trailer involved a complicated rescue and closed the Route 1 Bypass for several hours last evening between Jennersville and West Grove.
The West Grove Fire Company was dispatched for an auto accident just past 6pm Tuesday evening that was reported as car vs. tractor trailer with a vehicle possibly overturned. A fully-staffed Engine was on standby at the West Grove National Night Out event and made the response immediately arriving on scene in just six minutes on the northbound side of Route 1 near the Guernsey Road overpass in London Grove Township.
While the 911 Center reported the accident as a car off to the side of the road with unknown injuries, the call turned out to be much more serious. As Engine 22-1 arrived, the crew discovered an overturned vehicle well off, and well below, the roadway down an embankment. An unconscious patient was in the car, with PA State Police Troopers and others working to remove the patient when WGFC units arrived. Advanced Life Support was added to the call with Medic 94 responding with two paramedic units.
Engine 22-1's crew quickly determined that ladders and other equipment would be needed to get the patient from down the embankment up to the roadway. EMS crews from the ambulance worked to secure the patient to a backboard while the Engine crew worked to place two ladders down the hillside to provide a path for patient removal. A 24-foot extension ladder was secured to the guide rail with straps along side a 14-foot attic ladder which was secured with its hooks. A rope safety line was secured from Engine 22-1's bumper, and crews leveraged new rescue struts on the Engine to stabilize the overturned vehicle.
Crews from Rescue 22 arrived and began setting up a secondary method to get the patient up the hill in case it was needed -- including a stokes basket and pre-rigged 4:1 haul system.
WGFC crews then leveraged the safety line and carried the patient up the hill using the side by side ladders, and transferred the patient to ambulance and medic crews in the waiting ambulance. The entire operation took approximately 12 minutes from Engine arrival until the patient was in the ambulance. Ambulance 22-2 and both 94 medics then transported the patient to Christiana Hospital.
Meanwhile, WGFC fire police and the State Police closed the northbound Route 1 Bypass during the operation, and it remained closed for approximately two hours while Blittersdorf heavy rescue equipment could crane the vehicle from down the embankment to roadway for removal and the State Police could finish their investigation.