Crews spend more than an hour extracting man from cement mixer wreck

Contributed photo from Newton Fire/EMS. Emergency crews work to cut and pry apart an overturned cement mixer truck that wrecked on May 5. William Fairbrother was transported to Wesley Medical Center in critical condition where he later passed away.

By Adam Strunk 

Emergency responders spent more than an hour Monday to extract a man, in critical condition, pinned inside a cement truck mixer that had rolled over. 

The wreck occurred on East First Street near the Oliver intersection  just after 1:30 p.m. May 5.
“It was a very difficult rescue,” said Newton Fire/EMS Division Chief Joe Martin, who responded. 

Martin explained that the man injured in the accident was heavily pinned. The Cement Truck mixer lying partially on its roof and positioned at an angle with its back end in the ditch complicated matters. 

Further the mixer being built heavier than a regular vehicle required more time to disassemble  using the tools they had, such as the hydraulic cutters, spreaders and ram.

With temperatures hovering in the mid 90s crews had to be rotated out every 10 or so minutes to avoid heat fatigue.
Martin said other responders were in place trying to monitor and treat parts of the man they could reach and provided him oxygen while the extraction took place. 

Eventually they were able to cut away enough pieces of the mixer to successfully extract the man Eagle Med transported by Helicopter to Wesley Medical Center in critical condition.

Martin did not have an update on the mans condition. 

The extraction came just weeks after Newton Fire/EMS conducted training with responders at a local salvage yard on how to use hydraulic extraction equipment when responding to such an accident. 

In a past article about the process, Newton Fire/EMS Department Acting Officer Colton Garcia explained that responders work to remove the wrecked vehicle from around the pinned person to get them out as easily as possible. 

“The best thing they can do is to stay calm,” Garcia said in the past article. “I know it’s a scary situation.”


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