COLUMBIA — A female driver who sustained possible life-threatening head injuries in a single-vehicle crash on U.S. 63 South on Tuesday afternoon is at the Level I Trauma Center at University Hospital, according to a news release from the Columbia Fire Department.
Police have not yet released the name of the driver or the cause of the crash.
The Columbia Fire Department, Columbia Police and EMS units arrived at the crash site, U.S. 63 at Grindstone Creek, to find a mini-van about 1,000 feet off the road on the southern side of the creek.
Firefighters initially began setting up “rope rigging” to reach the van, but quickly realized that there was a path on the north side of the bridge that allowed them access as well, Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said.
Once a path was discovered, it took less than ten minutes to reach the victim, he said.
The driver was trapped in her vehicle, but firefighters freed her in less than ten minutes, carrying her up the steep embankment in a Stokes Basket, Sapp said. A Stokes Basket is a wire basket that aides in safe transport of an adult while positioned on his or her back.
The woman initially told firefighters that she had her children with her, though no one could locate anyone else at the scene of the accident, according to a news release. Columbia Public Schools were contacted in search of the children, but the report was later confirmed as false, according to the Fire Department.