Wrecker helps save woman’s life after collision with 18-wheeler in Dadeville

Dadeville police identified the driver of the Toyota Camry who survived this accident Friday in Dadeville as Felicia Dianna Edwards, 24, of Camp Hill.

Everyone who has seen the wreckage can hardly believe the driver of a Toyota Camry survived a Friday collision with an 18-wheeler in Dadeville Friday.

“She is one lucky lady,” Patterson Truck Parts and Towing driver Chris Deason said. “The door post had her pinned down in the passenger seat and the truck’s tire was on top of her.”

Deason responded to the scene to assist in removing the driver. He was driving a specialized tow truck designed to lift and tow loaded 18-wheelers and saw the victim up close.

“I first saw her eyes when I crawled in around the tire to hook up the cables,” Deason said. “I saw her face and couldn’t believe she was alive.”

The crash occurred just east of the intersection of Highway 280 and Lafayette Street in Dadeville Friday just after noon.

Dadeville Police Department Lt. Chris Martin said Deason and the specialized truck was needed to rescue the driver.

“Due to the manner of the crash and the commercial vehicle resting on top of the Toyota Camry, Patterson Towing was called to the scene to help with extrication efforts,” Martin said. “The large commercial wrecker was used to lift the commercial vehicle off the Camry.”

Martin said while they waited for the large wrecker to arrive, Tallapoosa EMS and volunteers with the Dadeville Fire Department helped stabilize the victim

Deason said the truck was some two to three feet in the air when he arrived and that the Dadeville Fire Department had difficulty in lifting the truck with airbags and hydraulics. Deason was able to lift the trucks with cables he attached to the front of the truck and emergency personnel went back to work.

“It took me about 10 minutes to hook everything up and lift the truck,” Deason said. “They pulled her out from under the truck under the trailer. The truck was swinging in the air as they moved her.”

First responders transported the victim to East Alabama Medical Center by ambulance after helicopter transportation could not fly due to the weather. The driver of the commercial was not injured according to Martin.

Martin said the Camry was traveling westbound on Highway 280 while the truck was traveling eastbound. He said people on the scene indicated weather was a contributing factor to the accident.

“Eyewitness accounts point toward the toward the driver of the Toyota Camry losing control of the vehicle possibly due to the impact of inclement weather at the time of the accident,” Martin said.

Martin said employees with Dadeville Street Department along with the employees of the Alabama Department of Transportation helped contain oil and coolant spill that was complicated by the rain at the time. The accident and spill caused Highway 280 to be closed for a period of time. Martin said the last information the police department had was the driver of the Camry was in stable condition.

Patterson Truck Parts and Towing owner Ricky Patterson said the towing company normally only tows larger commercial vehicles and responds to accidents only occasionally, but they are happy to help.

“We did eight, maybe 10 accidents last year,” he said. “We are just glad to be able to serve the community.”

Patterson the accident was unique because the victim lived.

“She is very lucky from the pictures I have seen,” Patterson said. “Usually there is not a survivor.”