At 3:50 PM on November 28, 2004, Colleton County, South Carolina Fire-Rescue responded to a three vehicle accident on a rural stretch of I-95 northbound at the 45 mile marker. Engine 101, Rescue 105, Squad 1 and Medic 1 (ALS Ambulance) were initially dispatched to the call.
Holiday traffic was incredible, with I-95 traffic almost at a stand still. Response times were delayed due to responding units being forced to use the emergency lane for eight miles traveling south to reach the scene.
First arriving units found three vehicles involved, one in a wooded area and two off on the shoulder. Two received heavy damage. A total of eight people were injured, four with severe injuries.
A second alarm was requested for three additional ambulances and two helicopters. Fire-Rescue responded with Medic 18 and Medic 27, both ALS ambulances. The fourth ALS ambulance (Hampton County Medic 3) responded from neighboring Hampton County. A second rescue unit also responded from the nearby town of Yemassee. A third helicopter was requested a short time later.
Firefighter-Paramedics treated the injured at the scene while waiting for the arrival of medical helicopters. Meducare was the first to arrive from Charleston (SC) and transported one adult and a child. Lifestar (Savannah, GA) was the second helicopter to arrive and transported one adult patient. Carefore (Columbia, SC) arrived third and transported one adult patient. All serious patients were flown to the SC Medical University Trauma Center in Charleston SC. The remaining four patients were transport by ground ambulance to Colleton Medical Center in Walterboro (SC). No patients were wearing seatbelts.
Firefighters and state troopers quickly cleared debris from the roadway and was able to have one lane moving for a short time, however the highway had to be shut down a second time for about thirty minutes while the helicopters landed, loaded and took off. The incident was cleared at 5:45 PM.