Man in­jured in crash near North East

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— A man was air­lifted to a re­gional trauma hos­pi­tal Wed­nes­day af­ter the pickup truck he was driv­ing veered off a road near North East and crashed head-on into a tree in a res­i­dent’s front yard, briefly trap­ping him in­side the man­gled ve­hi­cle, po­lice re­ported.

Fire­fight­ers with North East Vol­un­teer Fire Co. were able to ex­tri­cate the driver — whom in­ves­ti­ga­tors iden­ti­fied as Michael Smith, 21, of North East — shortly af­ter the sin­gle-ve­hi­cle crash in the 700 block of East Old Philadelphia Road, po­lice said.

Af­ter an am­bu­lance trans­ported Smith to NEVFC’s

NORTH EAST

nearby sta­tion, a Mary­land State Po­lice he­li­copter landed there and then flew him to Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land’s Shock Trauma Unit in Bal­ti­more, po­lice added.

As of early Thurs­day night, in­for­ma­tion on Smith’s med­i­cal con­di­tion was un­avail­able.

Smith was driv­ing a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck in the west­bound lane of East Old Philadelphia Road shortly be­fore 4 p.m. Wed­nes­day, when he lost con­trol of the ve­hi­cle for yet-to-be-de­ter­mined rea­sons, po­lice re­ported. Smith was the sole oc­cu­pant of the truck.

The truck strayed across the cen­ter­line and then veered across the east­bound lane, be­fore leav­ing the road, ac­cord­ing to po­lice. It ap­peared that the truck then trav­eled in a south­west­wardly di­rec­tion up the grassy hill of a res­i­dent’s front yard and plowed head-on into a tree, where it came to rest.

“I was in the base­ment and I heard a boom. I knew ex­actly what it was,” said a woman who lives on the prop­erty where the truck struck the tree.

The woman, who asked to re­main anony­mous, ex­plained that she had heard a crash “a while back” in which a ve­hi­cle wound up in her next-door neigh­bor’s yard, and that’s how she rec­og­nized the sound Wed­nes­day.

Be­cause the driver was pinned in­side the truck, the woman and oth­ers who had rushed to the scene from nearby places were lim- ited in how they could help him, she said. The woman noted that the driver was “un­re­spon­sive” when they ar­rived but slowly stirred to the point that he was able to talk.

Fire­fight­ers ar­rived mo- ments later, as did po­lice and paramedics, and they quickly freed Smith from the wrecked truck.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CARL HAMIL­TON

This photo shows heavy front-end dam­age sus­tained by the pickup truck

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