Trapped Florida Crash Victim's Leg Amputated

Trapped Florida Crash Victim's Leg Amputated

News Nov 03, 2007

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. --

Surgeons were called to the scene of a garbage truck crash on Friday and amputated a woman's leg in order to free her from the wreckage.

Related Content: Images | Video

The garbage truck overturned just before noon Friday on Taft Street in Pembroke Pines.

"The truck is flipped over; garbage is everywhere," witness Kari Giannamoros said.

The driver, 36-year-old Gwendolyn Hightower, spent an hour and 20 minutes pinned under the 18-ton garbage truck while rescue crews worked to free her.

Images from Chopper 6 showed firefighters and surgeons surrounding the garbage truck before pulling Hightower from the truck's cab.

"Obviously she was entangled in the wreckage," said Shawn Hallich of the Pembroke Pines Fire Department. "They had to bring surgical teams out to do procedures to free her from the vehicle."

Officials said Hightower was driving an All Service Waste Management truck.

"Based on the roadway evidence, speed might have been a factor," said Sgt. John Gazzano of Pembroke Pines police.

Continue Reading

Authorities said she was controlling the truck from the passenger side, which also has pedals, when it rolled over in the Pembroke Pines subdivision at the intersection of Taft and 140th streets.

"When she turned, the door was open," Gazzano said. "She fell out of the vehicle as the vehicle rolled over her."

There was a male passenger, 24-year-old Alex Wright, in the garbage truck. He was treated at the scene and is in stable condition.

Witnesses said rescue teams worked quickly together to save the woman's life.

"They were very fast," Giannamoros said. "They took care of her right away. I think if it wasn't for them responding so quick and getting to the scene, she might not have made it because she might have bled to death."

Hightower was taken to Hollywood Memorial Regional Hospital to recover.

Police said they are continuing to investigate the situation before they issue any charges.

Story by <a target=_new href=http://www.nbc6.net/>nbc6.net</a>
NHTSA's new video follows EMS data from its collection through its use to improve future care.
First Priority Global, one of the country's leading suppliers of public safety, emergency response and clean transportation solutions, announces the opening of a new facility in Flanders, NJ.
Christopher Wimmer was sentenced to jail time and probation for taking photos with 41 unconscious patients in a selfie competition he was in with another paramedic.
Students say the mock DUI accident was a very realistic learning experience, especially when firefighters, EMTs and police arrived at the scene.
The Columbia County EMS provider oversees emergency efforts from Lake City EOC during the latest storm.
EMTs, firefighters and police officers dealt with a car accident causing the release of sulfur dioxide and an active shooter in a hospital.
Search and rescue teams from all over the world traveled to Mexico City to help find survivors trapped in the rubble since Tuesday's 7.1 magnitude earthquake.
Residents who register with the program provide important details about health conditions and even bedroom locations so rescue workers spend less time searching for victims.
As soon as a runway can be cleared for their arrival, the 27-member Task Force 1 FEMA Urban Response Team is ready to take off for search and rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria's destruction of Puerto Rico.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council today recognized first responders for their commitment and dedication to delivering quality medical-care in the field during emergency situations.
Dr. Vincent Duron from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York received a $100,000 research grant to enhance standard pediatric trauma care.
The award-winning video features a series of stunning training courses driven by groundbreaking video demonstrations of the most commonly encountered fire ground evolutions.

A  7.1-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday leveled buildings, homes, and government centers across the city. At one partially flattened school, the hunt for dozens of missing children captivated the nation.

At least nine people have died, structural damage is extensive, and flooding coupled with 155mph winds has left the entire island without power.
The Volunteer First Responder Housing Act aims to recruit and retain volunteers in the community by providing discounts on house prices to eligible citizens.