A Morrison man was critically injured New Year’s Day when he was thrown from his truck after he hit a tree, the accident leaving him trapped beneath his overturned vehicle.
The driver, Jose A. Hernandez, 44, of Dawn Street in Morrison, was airlifted from Morrison Fire Hall after he was rescued from his entrapment under his vehicle. Ambulance and Morrison firemen labored for half an hour to pull him from the wreckage that had left him pinned between his truck and the ground.
The wreck happened on North Main Street in Morrison late Friday morning when Hernandez failed to navigate a slight curve as he was headed toward downtown. His GMC sport utility vehicle entered the front yard of a residence and struck and uprooted two trees before turning onto its side. Hernandez, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown across the cab of his vehicle and partially ejected out of the passenger-side window. The SUV then rolled onto its side, pinning him beneath its weight. Hernandez’s only salvation was the rain-soaked ground which was soft due to recent area flooding. Rescue workers used inflatable extrication pillows to help lift the wreckage enough to free the barely conscious victim.
“This is an example of the importance of seatbelts,” said Highway Patrol Sgt. Billy Prater as he watched the extrication. “If he had just worn his seatbelt he would have probably just had a bump on the head at worst. Seatbelts save lives.”