EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 11, 2012

Woman injured in morning rollover

By Dustin Luca dluca@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — PLAISTOW — Emergency crews worked for close to an hour to remove a woman from a car that rolled over on Main Street yesterday morning.

The vehicle, a blue, 4-door Buick sedan, was heading south on Route 121A toward the center of town when it rolled over and ended up against a tree at around 11:15 a.m. The car came to rest on the driver side with the windshield pressed against the tree, according to Fire Chief John McArdle.

Information on the driver or what caused the accident wasn’t available yesterday afternoon.

The driver was the only person in the vehicle. Removing her was difficult because of how the car came to a stop, McArdle said.

“We used most of our tools in the toolbox,” he said. “It’s probably one of the more difficult extrications we’ve had in quite a while because of the (vehicle’s) position.” Removing the woman took around 45 minutes.

Responders started by breaking through the car’s back window and cutting the roof off. The car had electric seats, so they couldn’t be moved to get her out. After getting through the back and top of the car, they were able to cut the back of the driver seat off and then cut through the bottom of the car around the seat to remove the rest of it, McArdle said.

Throughout the entire ordeal, the woman was awake and talking to ambulance personnel, according to McArdle. She had leg injuries and was transported by ambulance to Lawrence General Hospital.

In the end, the driver was lucky to survive the crash, according to McArdle. “Any time you get an impact of this nature, clearly, a lot of forces were involved,” he said.

The woman was protected by a seatbelt and airbag, but those safety measures wouldn’t have been as effective if something like a tree branch entered the vehicle, according to McArdle.

“The way the car itself landed, she’s very lucky at this point,” McArdle said.