A woman whose hands were crushed and pinned while changing a flat tire on a rural interstate managed to call 911 after her screams went unnoticed and she finally managed to slip off one of her shoes and use her toes to dial the number.
Authorities said the incident happened Sunday evening on Interstate 95 in Colleton County, a sparsely populated county just west of Charleston in the South Carolina Lowcountry. A 54-year-old woman from Charlotte, North Carolina, whose name was not released, was traveling home from Florida when her car suffered a flat and she pulled over to the breakdown lane.
She was replacing the flat with the spare tire when the jack slipped and the car fell, crushing both of her hands between the tire and fender. Unable to free herself and shielded from traffic by the car she was trying to fix, she managed to remove one of her shoes and call for help after several failed attempts.
“I can’t imagine what she was going through,” Colleton County Fire-Rescue Chief Barry McRoy told The Washington Post. “She was pretty level-headed to make that happen.”
First responders tried using a knife to deflate the tire, which only dropped the car further. They then used a pry bar to free one of her hands. Another fire engine arrived shortly afterward and used a hydraulic spreader to raise the car and free her other hand. The whole ordeal left the woman trapped for roughly 45 minutes.
Rescuers gave pain medications to the woman, whose hands and fingers all suffered extensive damage, and then transported her to the trauma center at a local hospital.