A group effort helped save the life of a female truck driver that plummeted off the east side of Route 11 late Monday afternoon, according to fire department and Ohio Highway Patrol sources.
At least three motorists stopped and lent their services after seeing the truck laying on it’s side about 75 to 100 feet down a hill off Route 11 about a half mile south of Route 46, said Ohio Highway Patrol Jerad Sutton.
Sutton said the truck was in the left lane of Route 11 heading north crossing a small bridge when it suddenly lunged to the right broke through a guard rail and tumbled several times down the hill.
A 53-year-old woman, driving truck for R&R Transportation out of Minnesota, was pinned in the vehicle for almost an hour after crashing just after 5 p.m., according to Plymouth Township Fire Chief Bill Strubbe and Sutton.
“For some reason she went off the road,” Sutton said. He said at least three bystanders, two of which were paramedics and another a surgical assistant, stopped their vehicles and went down the hill to assist the victim.
Sutton said OHP Trooper Charles Emery kept the woman’s head stabilized during the entire ordeal. Rescue workers also had to navigate the metal wreckage surrounding the woman trapped in the cab.
Firefighters rigged a rope ladder to help rescue workers bring the victim up the hill.
Just before 6 p.m. a medical helicopter landed on Route 11 as troopers blocked traffic on the northbound lane for about 25 minutes while the patient was carried up the hill and then stabilized in a waiting ambulance.
Around 6:30 p.m. the helicopter took off for MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland as motorists snapped cell phone pictures as the plane took off. Dozens of vehicles were stopped but made their way through the area shortly after the helicopter took off.
Strubbe said getting the woman out of the vehicle and up the hill was a team effort. “It just created a challenge. It just pushes our training into reality,” he said.
By Warren Dillaway - Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio (MCT)
©2013 the Star Beacon (Ashtabula, Ohio)
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