DRIVER CRITICAL AFTER LATE NIGHT CRASH
Elyria Township – A late night crash on I-90, just west of Route 57, in the westbound lane sent two people to the hospital with the driver being flown from scene in critical condition.
Trooper Lance Deshuk of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that driver of a 2006 Chevy Silverado was entering I-90 westbound from State Route 57 just after 2am Sunday morning when he lost control of the truck. “The driver lost control and went off the right side of the road through the grass and struck a tree on the driver’s side. Both the driver and passenger we trapped inside of the vehicle when we arrived.”
Firefighters from Elyria Township responded and after assessing the situation called for mutual aid from Elyria Fire to assist in extrication.
Elyria Township Firefighters were able to extricate the female passenger fairly quickly but the driver was pinned in tight. Captain Tim Midkiff of the Elyria Township Fire Department said that one of the challenges in extricating the driver was the fact that just beyond the tree that the pickup struck was an approximate 8 to 10 foot drop off into a ditch.
Once Elyria Firefighters arrived with their additional extrication equipment and manpower the scene was again reassessed. Realizing that the extrication was going to be very prolonged they decided they would need even more manpower and equipment on scene. Initially they had called for Lorain Fire Department but just a couple miles down the highway Sheffield Village Firefighters were clearing from another crash on I-90 near the Black River Bridge so they were requested to respond.
Aiding in the rescue was Paramedics from LifeCare Ambulance, a University MED EVAC Medical Team, and Mug’s Elyria Auto Service.
Firefighters had Mug’s attach chains to the front and rear of the vehicle and slowly pull the truck off the tree that it had embedded itself into approximately 12 inches. This allowed Firefighters more freedom to cut the roof off of the truck.
Shortly after the roof was removed a backboard was lowered down into the driver’s compartment from a Firefighter standing in the bed of the truck. After the victim was strapped onto the board he was removed from the vehicle and moved to the back of a LifeCare Squad where his treatment continued with Medics and the MED EVAC team. He was then move to the helicopter and flown to Cleveland in critical condition.
The names of the victims have not yet been released.
Both Captain Tim Midkiff of the Elyria Township Fire Department and Captain Joe Pronesti from the Elyria Fire Department commented about how well the operation went. Midkiff said it was truly a team effort and was grateful for all of the Departments that assisted in the rescue. Pronesti echoed Midkiff’s statement about the team work. “In terms of everyone working together this was one of the best that I’ve ever seen.”
Midkiff listed those assisting in the rescue operation as Elyria Township Firefighters, Elyria Firefighters, Ohio State Patrol, LifeCare Ambulance Paramedics, Sheffield Village Firefighters, Mug’s Elyria Auto and University MED EVAC.
Trooper Deshuk said the crash remains under investigation.