Beaufort, SC – At approximately 0100 on the morning of 04/18/2017 firefighters from the City of Beaufort were notified of a single vehicle accident on the Woods Memorial Bridge in downtown Beaufort. Battalion Chief Cooler was the first to arrive on scene as units were still clearing up from a structure fire at the Port Royal Landing Marina. He reported finding an overturned pickup truck with heavy damage on the up-slope of the Woods Bridge.
“I could tell the driver was still in the truck and that he was trapped. I called for the necessary resources to conduct the rescue immediately, while I attempted to communicate with the driver” said Battalion Chief Cooler.
Units from the Headquarters Fire Station on Ribaut Road and Staton #2 at 1120 Ribaut road were on scene within minutes of receiving the call. Engine Company 6 and Ladder Company 1 successfully extricated the driver who was listed with serious injuries. These injuries limited the patients communication with responders “As a result, we called the boat from Paris Island that had been at the Marina fire to help us search the surrounding area underneath the bridge to ensure that no additional passengers were unaccounted for.” Said Battalion Chief Cooler.
Resources from Beaufort Marine Rescue also responded to the scene and acquaintances of the driver were contacted who confirmed that the driver was traveling alone. Beaufort County EMS transported the driver.
The guard rail on the east side of the bridge sustained significant damage, and crews placed a call to DOT bridge inspectors. Until that inspection is complete, officials say traffic will be diverted around the Woods Memorial Bridge. Commuters are encouraged to use the McTeer Bridge as an alternate route.
The City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department, City of Beaufort Police Department, Beaufort County EMS, Paris Island Fire Department, Beaufort Marine Rescue Squad and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office responded to this accident.