Woman Injured After Car Strikes Pedestrian Bridge, Lands on Roof
She was found trapped in her car under the Sgt. Andrew Lobosco Pedestrian Bridge.
A Bridgewater woman was taken by medevac helicopter to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Friday after she was found trapped in her car that had overturned under the pedestrian bridge at the Bridgewater Commons Mall.
According to a press release from the Bridgewater Township Police Department, Barbara O'Rourke, 59, was driving south on the Outer Ring Road near Macy's around 3:55 p.m. when she may have suffered a medical emergency. The release said her vehicle struck a guardrail and went airborne for about 50 feet before striking the Sgt. Andrew Lobosco Pedestrian Bridge.
From there, the release said, the vehicle struck a concrete bridge support 10 feet below the road and landed on its roof.
North Branch Fire Chief David Hickson said that when Green Knoll Fire Chief James Vitale arrived at the location, he found a heavily damaged vehicle on its roof underneath the bridge with the female patient heavily entrapped and seriously injured.
"Firefighters, working side by side with Bridgewater Police Officers and Somerset Medical Center Mobil Intensive Care Unit secured and cut the vehicle away from the patient," Hickson said.
But, Hickson said, there were several obstacles to getting her out of the vehicle.
"The vehicle hit a guardrail and was launched through the air, and landed approximately 75 feet off of the roadway and down a 15-foot embankment," he said. "The proximity of the vehicle was too far away to reach with truck-mounted rescue tools."
Green Knoll firefighters, Hickson said, lowered a portable hydraulic generator and Jaws of Life to extricate her from the vehicle.
Hickson said she was safely removed from the vehicle within 10 minutes, and, because of the severity of her injuries, she was transported to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center Trauma Unit via NJ State Police Medevac helicopter.
Hickson said Country Hills Fire Company Deputy Chief Charles Springer worked with police to clear a location in the parking area of the mall to land the helicopter.
"Onlookers witnessed a dramatic and well-coordinated rescue performed with police, fire and rescue personnel," he said.
On scene were the Green Knoll Fire Company, North Branch Fire Company, Country Hills Fire Company, Bridgewater Township Police, Green Knoll Rescue Squad, Martinsville Rescue Squad, Somerset MICU and NJ State Police Medevac.
Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call Bridgewater Township Police Officer Doug Thorsen at 908-722-4111, ext. 4154.