Seatbelt saves life of man after risky vehicle rollover
One Sierra Vista man is lucky to be alive after he rolled his minivan on I-10 Saturday night and had to be cut out of his vehicle. Authorities say his seatbelt saved his life.
CREATED Apr. 7, 2013
Web Producer: Taylor Higgins
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - One Sierra Vista man is lucky to be alive after he rolled his minivan on I-10 Saturday night and had to be cut out of his vehicle. Authorities say his seatbelt saved his life.
Emergency medical personnel with the Northwest Fire District responded to I-10, near the Ruthrauff Overpass, just after 11:30 p.m. Saturday after someone called 9-1-1 to report that a car had driven off the roadway, according to Adam Goldberg with Northwest Fire.
Once on scene, crews discovered that the vehicle, a Pontiac minivan, had rolled over and sustained heavy damage. They also noticed that the driver, a 71-year-old man, was trapped inside the vehicle, Goldberg said.
Goldberg tells 9OYS that Northwest Fire's Technical Rescue Squad and a crew of specially trained firefighters had to respond due to the amount of damage to the vehicle, the severity of the driver's entrapment and the position of the vehicle.
The vehicle was resting on its side on the bank of the overpass, according to Goldberg. He says the vehicle was unstable, forcing crews to use tow straps and a DPS vehicle to tie off the van so that it didn't slide down the overpass.
Once the vehicle was secure, specialty firefighters had to use extrication and stabilization equipment to remove the windshield frame and cut the roof off of the minivan, Goldberg said.
Crews also had to use the jaws of life to free the driver's legs, which were pinned under the dashboard and gas pedal, according to Goldberg.
Once the driver was free from the vehicle, crews transported him to the hospital in serious, but stable condition, Goldberg said.
Goldberg tells 9OYS that the driver was wearing his seatbelt, which prevented him from suffering critical, and possibly fatal, injuries. He wishes to remind drivers to always wear their seatbelt.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating the cause of the accident.