CHATTANOOGA, TN - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 5pm - A single vehicle crash in the 4600 block of Amnicola Highway trapped a woman inside of her white Chevy Lumina. Emergency crews with the City Of Chattanooga Fire Department and Hamilton County EMS were quickly dispatched to the scene of the crash. When rescuers arrived on the scene, they found the white Lumina off the roadway with the front of the car smashed around a large tree. City of Chattanooga Firefighters immediately started, what would turn out to be a long strenuous task of extricating the woman.
While Firefighters with Quint 10, Squad 2 and Squad 1 worked on cutting and spreading the mangled wreckage, paramedics with Hamilton County EMS worked to stabilize the woman's injuries. With the temperature over 85 degrees and the firefighters gear weighting several hundred pounds, fire crews were under a lot of pressure. Multiple pieces of hydraulic tools had to be used to cut the roof off the car, spread the passengers compartment, and roll the dashboard of the car. Even with all those operations, firefighters also had to tediously and carefully cut several parts of the car to remove the woman.
Fire command at the scene called for an additional Squad to the scene for additional man power. Squad 3 arrived within minutes, bringing fresh rescue workers to the operation. Over an hour after the extrication began, the woman was finally freed. Paramedics and firefighters quickly moved her to an awaiting ambulance. Paramedics rushed the woman to Erlanger Medical Center with a serious leg injury. Luckily that was the worst of the injuries that the woman was believed to have sustained. Emergency workers were rather amazed that the woman was not injured more severely due to the massive damage to the car.
Traffic on Amnicola Highway was shut down to one lane in each direction during the lengthy extrication. Rush hour traffic quickly backed up, but fortunately it slowly cleared out due to the City Of Chattanooga Police Department keeping the flow moving. The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the City of Chattanooga Police.