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Firefighters extricate driver in a daring rescue in Murray

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 December 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – It took firefighters more than two hours to free a driver after his vehicle flipped and came to rest on a shorn-off tree.

MURRAY – Firefighters battled brutal cold tonight to free a man who was trapped inside his vehicle after it overturned on Lynch Road.

It took about two hours and 15 minutes to extricate the driver, who was then transported by Monroe Ambulance to the hospital.

After the vehicle overturned, it knocked down a tree. The vehicle came to rest, upside down, on the base of the tree. That stump pierced the windshield and pinned the driver inside the vehicle in 15-degree weather.

The driver was trapped inside his vehicle by the bottom of this pine tree.

Firefighters needed to build a support under the vehicle so they could get inside and cut off the steering wheel and work to remove the driver. They set up cribbing with hard blocks of wood, and used steel jack supports to stabilize the vehicle so they could remove the driver.

The mission was complicated by a ditch on the side of the road. That prevented firefighters from bringing down vehicles or equipment to help with the task.

Once the vehicle was stabilized with the cribbing and jacks, firefighters tied a chain around the vehicle and lifted it slightly so the driver could be extricated.

Firefighters take down the jacks and cribbing system after the driver was extricated tonight in Murray.

The driver, whose name hasn’t been released, was taking his two daughters to a dance at Holley. The accident happened just east of the railroad tracks, about 1.5 miles from the school.

The two girls had minor injuries and were taken by ambulance to the hospital.

The fire call went out at 7:10 p.m. The driver was removed from the vehicle at 9:24. Firefighters tried to keep the driver warm with blankets while they were working to free him from the vehicle.

It appeared that about 40 firefighters from several departments were at the scene.

(Editor’s Note: A press release from the Sheriff’s Department says the driver, Scott Kuhn of Holley, was taken by Mercy Flight. I saw him put into an ambulance. Undersheriff Steve Smith confirmed Mercy Flight was used.)