The crash between a car and trailer with a small loader on it on Emory Valley Road on Friday happened after the trailer came loose from a truck hitch and crossed into an oncoming lane, where it hit the car, authorities said.
The 1994 GMC truck was being driven east on Emory Valley Road at about 5:29 p.m. Friday by Gerald D. Cureton, 71, of Knoxville, when the two-vehicle crash occurred at Carnegie Drive, according to an Oak Ridge Police Department crash report.
The truck was towing a trailer with a small Case four-wheeled skid steer loader.
Headed west, in the opposite direction, was Arminda “Mindy” Carter, 32, of Oak Ridge. She was driving a 2010 Toyota Camry four-door sedan, the report said.
As the two vehicles approached the intersection, the trailer came free of the hitch used to secure it to the truck, according to the ORPD crash report.
The trailer then crossed into the westbound lane, where it hit the Camry driven by Carter, the report said.
After the impact, the car and trailer both moved northeast into the grass on the northeast side of the intersection and off the road.
The trailer and loader came to rest on top of the Camry, where it appeared to cause significant damage to the front of the car.
Carter was pinned inside. It took firefighters and rescuers about 55 minutes to remove her. They used a tow truck to help lift the trailer and loader and take weight off of her. During the rescue, they were able to give Carter oxygen and intravenous fluids.
Firefighters used used block-like wooden cribbing from a rescue truck to keep the dual-axle trailer and small Case skid steer loader stable as they used the tow truck to lift the trailer and loader up from the Camry. They put support blocks under the car also.
Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley said the extrication was complex because the weight of the trailer and the skid steer loader were on Carter.
The chief said the brake pedal and floorboard were wrapped around Carter’s feet, and the driver’s compartment was compressed down on her. Even when rescuers cut away the car from around her, Carter was still held in by her foot, Kerley said. The Oak Ridge Fire Department used a special hydraulic cutter to cut away the brake pedal, which was holding her in.
“That’s probably the worst extrication I’ve seen where the person was still alive,” Kerley said Friday. “There was an angel with her today.”
Once she was removed from the Camry, Carter was taken by ambulance to Roane State Community College, where a Lifestar helicopter picked her up and flew her to the trauma center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, the crash report said. She was listed in stable condition at UT Medical Center on Tuesday evening.
Cureton was not injured in the crash, according to the ORPD report.
Cureton was wearing a lap belt, and Carter was wearing a shoulder and lap belt, the report said.
No traffic violations are listed in the report.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See previous story here.
Copyright 2016 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.