Colleton County Fire-Rescue crews, in South Carolina, responded to a reported motor vehicle accident with entrapment on Coolers Dairy Road near the intersection of Welch Creek Road, Saturday morning, October 2, 2004 at 8:29 AM. This is a rural area located northeast of the City of Walterboro.
Engine 1901, Rescue 105, Squad 1 and Medic Units 1 and 9 responded. Asst. Chief David Greene was incident commander. Engine 1901, Rescue 105 and Medic 1 arrived four minutes after the receipt of the call. On arrival, Engine 1901 found a pickup truck in the roadway and a minivan impaled by a pontoon boat several hundred feet past the pickup truck.
Driving conditions were poor due to heavy fog. Firefighters reported visibility of only 200 feet.
Initial reports indicate the pickup truck was traveling south on Coolers Dairy Road, pulling the pontoon boat and hit a dip in the road. This caused the trailer to come loose from the truck. The safety chains held the trailer attached for about 375 feet before they broke and the trailer veered to the left, into the oncoming traffic. The north bound minivan had no time to react and was struck head-on by the boat and trailer. The left pontoon penetrated the windshield, sticking the female driver in the head. She received massive head trauma.
Firefighter/Paramedics quickly extricated the patient and began treatment, which included intubation, dual IV lines, spinal immobilization, & oxygen. No medical helicopters could fly due to the heavy fog.
The Medic 1 crew and two additional Firefighter/Paramedics ground-transported the patient 47 miles to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Trauma Center in Charleston, SC.
The patient went into cardiac arrest shortly before arriving at MUSC and was pronounced dead by the medical staff shortly after arrival.