SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Firefighters used the “Jaws of Life” to free at least one person trapped in their vehicle after a nearly head-on crash near Salem Thursday afternoon.
The crash happened shortly before 3 p.m. on Portland Road NE, near Waconda Road NE north of Salem, Ore.
“While one patient was able to escape one of the vehicles, the second vehicle had an occupant that was entrapped in the vehicle,” according to Marion County Fire District No. 1. “Additional emergency services personnel were requested to the scene, including the specialized extrication equipment known as the ‘Jaws of Life.’”
It took 10 minutes for firefighters to get the entrapped patient out of the car. That patient was critically injured in the crash, and was flown by a LifeFlight Network helicopter to Oregon Health & Science University Trauma Center in Portland, Ore.
The injuries are believed to be life threatening.
The other vehicle’s occupant was taken by ground ambulance to Salem Hospital in stable condition, with what are believed to be serious injuries.
In all, two engines, a heavy rescue vehicle, two ambulances, one training officer and a chief officer responded to this crash — for a total of 17 personnel from Marion County Fire District No. 1. They were assisted at the scene by the Oregon Department of Transportation, LifeFlight Network of Oregon and the Oregon State Police. OSP is the lead law enforcement agency and is handling the investigation of the collision.