EAST RIDGE, Tenn - Saturday, July 8,2006 - 12:10 am -The City Of East Ridge Fire and Police Departments were dispatched with Memorial EMS to an accident in the 5300 Block of Ringgold Road at Maxwell Road. East Ridge Police Officers arrived on the scene within seconds and reported entrapment. Almost simultaneously as police were reporting entrapment, East Ridge Fire Department Squad 1 arrived on the scene. Squad 1 quickly established Ringgold Road Command and charged the report to heavy entrapment with life threatening critical injuries.
Less than a minute later, East Ridge 801, Eddie Phillips, arrived on the scene and took command. Chief Phillips immediately called for the Life Force Helicopter from Chattanooga to be dispatched to the scene. Chief Phillips also had an emergency all call sounded for additional man power due to the extensive extrication and also to set up a landing zone for the air ambulance.
Memorial EMS paramedics quickly started emergency care on the critically injured driver in an attempt to save his live. Meanwhile firefighters were also working aggressively with several sets of "Jaws-Of-Life" trying to free the driver from the mangled wreckage. Additional East Ridge rescue crews continued to arrive on the scene and immediately started assisting with extrication efforts.
East Ridge Public Safety Director and Fire Chief Eddie Phillips said the car was believed to have been headed northbound on Ringgold Road, or Highway 41, when a possible medical condition may have caused the driver to veer off the roadway. After striking an utility power pole and causing extensive damage to his car, it finally came to rest in a parking lot in front of the new Friendly Feathers Exotic Birds Store.
A landing zone for the Life Force Helicopter was set up about a half block away from the wreck, at the East Ridge Post Office parking lot on Maxwell Road. Flight Medics quickly came to the scene of the crash and attempted to help rescuers. Unfortunately it was just a very short time before the driver succumb to his massive injuries. A large number of the emergency workers were distraught by the circumstances after working so feverously to free the man and then having him succumb to his injuries. Fire Chief Eddie Phillips said "These rescuers did an amazing job, it's just unfortunate that the injuries were so substantial."
East Ridge Police officers did find several guns and ammo in the car. It was quickly established that the man was an avid gun collector. Several witnesses at the scene said the driver of the car was a retired City Of Chattanooga Police officer. East Ridge officials have not yet released his name pending notification of next of kin. East Ridge Police Officers are also doing an extensive investigation to determine exactly what caused the crash.