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Police use Jaws of Life to rescue car crash victim

Portland residents often hear about car accidents where the Jaws of Life tool is used to extract people from a damaged car. In those situations, the incident is often dire or even fatal.

When a car accident happens, it is often hard to recognize from first glance whether the accident involves serious injuries or whether it is a minor accident with few injuries. Some car accidents may look worse than they turn out to be, thankfully leaving victims with minor injuries or even uninjured. Recently, a news story covered an incident in Portland when police came upon an accident between three cars and had to use the Jaws of Life to extract a crash victim.

On a Wednesday night in October, an accident occurred in downtown Portland that would be cause for alarm to anyone that witnessed it. When fire and rescue crews arrived on the scene, they came upon a three-car crash. Police say one car was on its side on top of another vehicle. Inside the vehicle that was on its side was a driver. Because the car was positioned on its driver-side door, the driver was pinned inside.

Emergency crews first stabilized the top vehicle in order to prevent it from further collapsing. Another crew stood by with charged hose lines to protect rescuers and accident victims inside the vehicles, should either car catch fire. As soon as the vehicle was stabilized, crews dismantled the car and extricated the person inside using the Jaws of Life. Additional crews were on hand to provide immediate medical care. Authorities say three people involved in the accident were rushed to local hospitals, with what were initially reported to be minor injuries.

Although a car accident may turn out to be a minor one, the short-term and long-term injuries sustained in a crash are difficult to assess initially and may come about over time. Anyone involved in an accident that suffers serious injuries due to the negligence of another may be entitled to compensation under personal injury law.

Source: Southeast Portland News Katu, "Three injured in car crash that pins one driver in car," Oct. 12, 2011

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