Colleton County Fire-Rescue responded to a medical emergency on I-95 at the 66 mile marker northbound, Wednesday 21-June at 15:27. Paramedic Engine 2601 arrived on scene at 15:34, parking the apparatus in the brake-down lane behind the sick woman's vehicle. Medic 27 arrived 3 minutes later and reported over the air that Engine 2601 had been struck in the rear by a tractor trailer and a firefighter was down. Firefighter-Paramedics from Medic 27 went to his aid and began treatment.
An additional Engine, Medic unit and Command staff were notified and responded. Personnel from Medic 27 began treatment on Firefighter-Paramedic Henry Henderson who suffered from multiple trauma injuries. He was found laying near the apparatus in the lane of traffic. A motorist had stopped to assist. Personnel also treated the original patient who was suffering from cardiac and severe respiratory problems. A medical helicopter was requested for Henderson. He was packaged by fellow firefighters and placed in Medic 27 to await the helicopter. Treatment included bandaging, splinting and dual IVs.
He was flown to the Medical University of SC Trauma Center in Charleston by Meducare and was taken to surgery. He had a second surgery around mid-night. Injuries included multiple fractures to his lower extremities, multiple abrasions, lacerations and internal problems. A third surgery is scheduled for Thursday. The original patient was transported to Colleton Medical Center in Walterboro by Medic 9. Initial investigations have determined the truck driver diverted his attention from the highway to retrieve an item he dropped. The tractor trailer veered into the brake-down lane. The truck driver was able to jerk the truck back into a traffic lane prior to impact causing the cab to side swipe Engine 2601. The trailer swung to the right and impacted the rear of the apparatus as Firefighter-Paramedic Henderson was retrieving medical equipment from the Engineer's compartment. It is still unclear what part of the vehicle actually struck Henderson. A State Trooper at the scene was able to jump across the hood of his cruiser to avoid being struck. The Trooper did not suffer any injuries. Northbound I-95 was shut down to one lane for 3 hours while the Highway Patrol reconstructed and investigated the accident. Engine 2601 suffered substantial damage to the rear and driver's side of the apparatus and other structural problems were noted.
Engine 2601, Engine 501, Squad 1, Medic 27, Medic 9, Truck 12, Truck 108 and Car 17 responded. Asst. Chief David Greene served as Incident Commander.