A young driver of an 18-wheeler was seriously injured early Thursday morning on I-75 in Bradley County after clipping an SUV.
Just before 2 a.m., Bradley County EMS responded one ambulance and a shift supervisor to I-75 on the northbound side at the 31 mile marker to a reported crash. The initial 911 call indicated that an 18-wheeler had struck an SUV that had pulled off on the side of the road. The report was that the 18-wheeler had driven away.
After the EMS crew evaluated the driver of the SUV, it was determined that he was not injured. The ambulance cleared that scene and proceeded north. Just a short distance ahead, the crew noticed a semi-truck and trailer on its side off the roadway nosed into the woods. Dispatch was notified of the discovery and additional emergency crews were dispatched to the scene.
The 23-year-old driver of the truck was pinned in the wreckage.
Stan Clark of Bradley County EMS said, "Bradley County Fire and Rescue personnel worked feverishly to free the patient. It was determined by the paramedic in charge that it would be a prolonged extrication and the patient had serious injuries. A request was put in for a medical helicopter to respond to the scene for airlift to a level one trauma center. Erlanger’s Life Force landed at Luv’s Truck Stop at exit 33. The Life Force crew was picked up by the EMS supervisor and transported to the accident scene.
"The entire extrication took right at two hours. Once the patient was removed from the wreckage he was stabilized and transported to the landing zone where he was flown to Erlanger in Chattanooga. The patient was in serious condition.
“This was one of those accidents where the training of the first responders paid off. When you have a patient trapped inside wreckage like this there are so many things that can go wrong. Bradley County Fire and Rescue did a great job in removing the patient safely.”
The cargo in the trailer was several heavy rolls of paper that weighed over 6,000 pounds apiece.