COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCBD)- Two people died as a result of a three vehicle high speed collision at the intersection of Horseshoe Lake Circle Sunday afternoon.
According to authorities a southbound pickup truck crossed the center line and sideswiped a northbound Chrysler, then struck a northbound Ford Expedition head-on, the impact caused heavy damage to both vehicles.
The Expedition came to rest on the edge of Horseshoe Lake Circle over a 12’ deep ditch full of water. Three of the four occupants were entrapped, and the driver was deceased. The pickup truck went off of the southbound shoulder and the driver was also heavily entrapped. The highway was blocked by the wreckage and debris.
Authorities report accident occurred in a rural area in northern Colleton County.
As additional information was obtained by 9-1-1 Operators, four additional ambulances and a medical helicopter were quickly assigned to the incident. A Ford and Ford Towing Company rollback wrecker from a nearby store was brought to the scene and hooked a cable to the rear of the Expedition to keep it from falling into the water filled ditch prior to emergency crews arriving.
Engine 36 and Medic 9 were the first units to arrive in the remote area and began treating the seven injured patients. After Engine 9 arrived, Holmatro Rescue Tools were deployed from the Engine to begin the extrication on the pickup truck.
Traffic backed up in both directions on the two lane highway causing congestion and hampering emergency vehicles from reaching the scene. Rescue 1 could only get within 1/8 mile of the scene and all the tools had to be carried to the scene. Battalion 1 was re-positioned so the winch could be secured to the front of the Expedition to stabilize the vehicle. With the wrecker holding the rear and Battalion 1’s vehicle securing the front the SUV was safer for the occupants and rescuers.
Firefighter-Paramedics used Holmatro Hydraulic tools to remove the passenger side door and seats from the car to free the trapped patients.
The extrication took an extended amount of time. Once the driver of the pickup truck was extricated, he was transported to a nearby field to meet with LifeNet 4. The patient was transferred and flown to the Trauma Center at Trident Medical Center.
Two other patients were transported by ambulance to Trident. One patient in critical condition was diverted to Colleton Medical Center after she went into cardiac arrest shortly after leaving the scene. Two other patients were transported to Colleton Medical Center by Medic 6.
The Coroner’s Office transported the driver of the Expedition. Traffic on Augusta Hwy was blocked for over seven hours while the Highway Patrol and Coroner’s Office conducted their investigations.