Midtown, New York Car Strikes Tree, Tree Wins

MidTown, N.Y. -- A four-door sedan was headed north on Versailles Plank Road when it left the roadway and struck a large oak tree around 2:30pm on December 14, 2003. The accident occurred between Smith and Pontiac Roads in near the border with the Town of Eden.

When Evans Center Assistant Chief Tim Szczepaniak arrived on location, he could barely see the vehicle due to heavy white smoke coming from the area of what was the mangled engine.

The car had sustained heavy front end damage in the impact and the driver was unconscious. Szczepaniak and Chief Dennis Allen worked to free the male driver's legs which were twisted up in the wreckage inside the vehicle.

Chief Allen called for Rural/Metro Paramedics to expedite to the scene and for Evans Center's Engine 1 to respond for extrication.

Using just simple hand tools, Allen & Szczepaniak were able to cut away much of the dashboard and associated wiring to free the driver before the extrication team could arrive.

They then assisted Paramedic Lynne Potoczak and EMT Craig Buczkowski with packaging and loading the patient into the Rural/Metro Ambulance for transport to Lake Shore Hospital in reportedly critical condition.

Evans Center remained on location for almost two hours assisting the Town of Evans Police with traffic control and scene lighting for the AIU-Accident Investigation Unit.

The same tree had been struck on at least two other occasions that firefighters could remember, including one fatal accident. The large tree sits in the front yard of a house located on a straight piece of roadway. As shown in the photos below, the tree suffered little damage despite the high-speed crash.

This was the second auto accident Evans Center crews responded to today. Earlier, a car struck a power pole on Erie Road near Melody Meadows Estates. Although the driver was not seriously injured, the Jaws-of-Life were required to free her from the side impact with the pole.