COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Emergency officials say a driver from North Carolina miraculously survived after the semi truck he was driving was destroyed in an accident in Colleton County on I-95.
Officials with Colleton County Fire and Rescue say on Thursday morning around 2:50 a.m., 911 operators received several reports of a truck that left the roadway and struck several trees near the 47 mile marker.
Authorities said a 2019 Kenworth truck travelling southbound left the roadway at a high rate of speed, crossed a ditch, then entered the woods striking multiple trees, before hitting two large pine trees head-on.
A report states the cab was crushed and displaced.
In addition, emergency officials say the trailer came apart as nearly the entire load of 50 pound boxes of frozen beef trim were propelled forward pushing the rear of the sleeper into the trees.
“The driver was trapped in a small 'V' shaped area of approximately 8 to 12 inches in width, between the dash and the rear of the sleeper,” CCFR officials said."The dash had been pushed down onto his legs and the his feet were trapped between the floor and the bottom of the dash."
According to CCFR officials, when first responders arrived, they found the mangled vehicle off in the woods on the right shoulder.
Authorities said several other truck drivers had stopped to assist and were throwing the 50 pound boxes off of the cab.
“They could hear the driver under the debris, but could not see him,” CCFR officials said."The man suffered from multiple traumatic injuries and a head injury."
Crews said they used multiple tools including saws to rescue the driver.
A report states the entire truck was covered with grease from the beef trim, making for some stability problems as rescuers worked to free the man.
The man’s dog received non-life threatening injuries and extricated early in the incident. Animal Control responded to the scene to transport the canine.
Crews removed small portions of the truck to get to the driver.
“After 2-1/2 hours of slow progress the man was extricated through the rear wall of the sleeper, immobilized and moved to Fire-Rescue Medic 19,” CCFR officials said.
Highway Patrol and State Transport Police are investigating the accident.