On June 28, 2004, at 7:22 AM, Van Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call for a multiple vehicle accident involving a victim pin-in.
A tractor trailer traveling westbound on I-20 crossed the median and struck a 1999 Suburban, carrying multiple occupants, in the mid-drivers side area. The Suburban was pushed from the main eastbound traffic lanes onto the Willow Branch Road off-ramp at exit 544, while the westbound tractor trailer came to rest in the right lane, shoulder and off ramp of the eastbound lanes close to the Suburban.
As Van Heavy Rescue 642 arrived on scene, paramedics from East Texas EMS were stabilizing the patient in the damaged vehicle and preparing the scene for fire department personnel to start extrication.
Capt. K. Hilliard arrived by POV shortly after Van 642 and took command of the scene. Van Grass Rig 645 arrived with additional personnel to assist in the difficult extrication. Command also requested manpower from neighboring Lindale Volunteer Fire Department (LVFD) due to the nature and severity of the damage to the Suburban.
The extrication was performed by Lt. T. Ammons and Captain Hilliard. FFs Duncan, Beard, Reinhart and Gilbert provided additional assistance to Lt. Ammons and EMS personnel.
After the successful extrication, LVFD personnel assisted EMS with movement of the patient from the Suburban to the ambulance as well as providing a stand-by hose line in the event diesel fuel leaking from the damaged tanks on the tractor ignited. The patient was then transported to a nearby hospital in Tyler, TX.