Tractor Trailer On Car With One Pinned & One Trapped - January 4, 2008



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Tractor Trailer On Car With One Pinned & One Trapped - January 4, 2008 - At 1804 hours, Ambulance 38, Medic 39, Rescue Squad 3, Engine 31, Engine 231, Medic 239 and other Montgomery County Fire & Rescue units responded to Northbound Interstate 270 CD lanes between Route 28 and Shady Grove Road for the tractor trailer on top of a car with people pinned. Car 3-7 arrived on the scene moments later to find a sedan under the rear wheels of a tractor trailer, against the jersey wall, with one trapped, and one severely pinned. Rescue Squad 3 arrived on scene next, and upon their size-up, a wrecker was immediately requested, followed by the request for a second rescue squad.

Stabilization: The trailer of the truck was hauling an empty trash container that came unlocked and lifted slightly from the trailer during the collision. Struts were run on both sides of the trailer and container to initially stabilize it. Straps were run around both ends of the container to secure it to the trailer, as well as straps being placed on the under side of the container to the trailer. All wheels of the tractor were chalked, including the 5th wheel. Multiple box cribs were built, including one at the rear of the trailer along the jersey wall to allow a strut to be placed to the trailer , above the sedan, to support the trailer. After the trailer was stabilized, the passenger of the vehicle, who had insisted on climbing out of the car, was removed from the vehicle. The passenger side front window and the top part of the door that covers the "A" and "B" post were removed. The passenger of the vehicle was then allowed to climb out of the vehicle. The passenger was transported to an area hospital as a BLS patient with only minor scraps and bruises.

Lifting Operation: The "A" plan was to utilize the wreckers to lift the rear of the trailer up off the sedan and the sedan to be pulled out from under the trailer. While the wreckers were enroute, crews continued to work on a second means of lifting the trailer if needed. The "B" plan was to use high pressure airbags placed under the rear axle of the trailer to lift the trailer off the sedan. The slack adjuster of the rear brake needed to be removed to allow the airbags to lift at the proper point. A plasma cutter was used to cut the slack adjuster off the truck. Multiple box cribs were assembled under the lift point to place the high pressure airbags at the desired point. Two 26 ton airbags were stacked on the box crib. As the plan "B" lifting system was being finalized the two wrecker's arrived and were placed into position to lift the trailer. The operators of the wreckers wrapped the rear of the trailer with chains. Once the go ahead was given, the wreckers lifted the trailer approximately two feet from off the sedan.

Crew initially had secured a chain to the sedan to be pulled by a come-along that was secured to the jersey wall. When Wheaton Volunteer Volunteer Rescue Squad's Rescue Squad 29 arrived on the scene they were positioned to replace the come-along system with their winch. After the trailer was lifted off the sedan, Rescue Squad 29 began to pull the vehicle in the direction of the front of the tractor trailer truck. When the sedan was clear of the trailer of the truck, the wreckers lowered the trailer back to the ground to allow crews to safely work around the sedan.

Extrication: After the sedan had been pulled clear of the tractor trailer truck, crews stabilized the sedan. Both rescue Squads took a side of the vehicle and began extricating the driver. Rescue Squad 3 removed the driver's sidewall, while Rescue Squad 29 removed the passengers side rear door and "B" post. The roof was then removed and Rescue Squad 3 pushed the dash using a ram. The patient was then removed from the vehicle by waiting EMS crews. The driver was transported with minor injuries to an area hospital.


Images by RVFD and WVRS personnel

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