Early Morning Semi Wreck Leads to Amputation (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Eric DeFreeuw - NBC33

October 1, 2013 Updated Oct 1, 2013 at 5:12 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (NBC33) – Traffic along Interstate 69 was backed up for nearly 10 hours Tuesday morning while clean-up crews remained on the scene of a semi-truck accident. The driver was southbound on I-69 hauling cabbage when he ran into a barrier just south of Goshen Road.

The driver, whose name has not yet been released, was trapped in his truck for over two hours while paramedics and firefighters worked to free him. The wreckage was so bad, paramedics and firefighters were forced to amputate part of his leg, thanks to the careful instructions from a Lutheran Hospital surgeon. He was then rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Despite all the training paramedics undergo, Micheal Gillespie with the Three Rivers Ambulance Authority says there was nothing that could prepare them for this.

"This is the first field amputation we've had here in Fort Wayne. It is not a common occurrence. It's something that is only done if we have to weigh that against the patient's life."

While it was a first of its kind procedure, paramedics spoke with the Lutheran Hospital surgeon using "Medical Control," which allows them to speak with doctors anytime they need insight or instruction when a scenario happens that they aren't fully trained on. Therefore it's easy to see how important communication can be in high-risk situations like this.

"Part of our job, too is to paint a crystal clear picture of the presentation of the patient, what's going on in that situation so that (the surgeons) fully understand almost as if the patient is in front of them what is going on. And then they can tell us basically what they would do if they were there, and then tell us what they would want us to do."

Crews remained at the scene on I-69 as late as 10:30 Tuesday morning working to clean up the wreckage.




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