Car Strikes South Carolina Firefighter Helping Motorist

A local volunteer firefighter suffered broken bones Sunday after being hit by a car while trying to help a motorist on Interstate 77, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Around 2:30 p.m., Lawrence McCon-nell, 54, a volunteer firefighter with the Lesslie Fire Department, had pulled his fire truck into the interstate emergency lane to assist a driver whose car had overturned near the Porter Road exit on I-77 South, said Lance Cpl. Bryan McDougald of the highway patrol.

As McConnell was standing by the truck, Fort Mill resident M. Curran, 75, was driving by and was unable to slow enough for the other traffic, McDougald said. She lost control of her 1990 Buick four-door and hit McConnell, pinning him against the truck, McDougald said.

McConnell, who lives on Neely Store Road in Rock Hill, was taken to Piedmont Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, McDougald said. The firefighter was in good condition Sunday night, hospital officials said, but no specifics were given on his injuries.

Curran was not injured in the wreck, McDougald said. The driver whose car had overturned in the first wreck, 21-year-old Bobby Sernanders of Gaston, was treated and released from Piedmont Medical Center.

Sernanders told the highway patrol that someone had changed lanes in front of him, forcing him off the road and causing his 1992 Honda Accord to overturn.

Charges are pending in the second wreck, McDougald said.

Mecklenburg County, N.C., paramedic Tim Hayes lost both of his legs in a similar accident during the ice storm earlier this year.

On Jan. 23, Hayes was treating car accident victims on I-77 north of Char-lotte when he was hit in a chain-reaction accident. A tractor-trailer slid on the ice and ran into Hayes' ambulance, pushing it into one of the vehicles involved in the earlier accident. That vehicle pinned Hayes against a guardrail and severed his legs, which have since been amputated.

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