2012-09-24 / Front Page

2 serious accidents require air lifts

By TIM GULLA Ledger Staff Writer tim@gaffneyledger.com

Firefighters and medical personnel in two Cherokee County communities responded to two serious accidents Saturday that required immediate transport by medical helicopters.

On Saturday evening in Blacksburg, a man fell an estimated 80 to 100 feet while riding a dirt bike across a Norfolk Southern train trestle near Rock Springs Road, according to fire officials.

The name of the man, who had to be carried by firefighters in a stretcher basket up the steep slopes of a ravine beneath the trestle, wasn’t immediately available from authorities Saturday night or Sunday.

A source identified the fall victim as a 46-year-old Deanna Lane, Blacksburg, man.

A man with that source-provided name was listed in serious condition at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center on Sunday.

Robin Chapman, a spokesman for Norfolk Southern Railroad, had only basic details of the incident when reached Sunday.

Norfolk Southern railroad police were called to the scene to investigate Saturday evening, as were the South Carolina Highway Patrol and Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. A Highway Patrol official confirmed Sunday that no report for the accident, which occurred on private property, was filed.

When firefighters were initially dispatched by 9-1-1 on a report of a man falling off a trestle, Blacksburg Fire Chief Cline Gore said all they were told was that it happened somewhere between the 100 and 102 Mile Markers of Interstate 85. Firefighters from both the Blacksburg and Buffalo volunteer fire departments then began scouring every area in the vicinity where a train trestle was located. The man was found a short time later.

Gore said it was his understanding that one man on a dirt bike and one man on a 4-wheeler were riding across the trestle at the time the incident occurred. The dirt bike rider who fell landed on a sandy bank beneath the trestle.

After getting the man out of the ravine, firefighters and paramedics took him to a private airfield near Exit 102 of Interstate 85 where the Regional One helicopter from Spartanburg Regional was waiting.

Chapman warned that trespassing on railroad property is not only illegal, but dangerous.

In the other accident, firefighters and paramedics in the Goucher- White Plains community summoned the Regional One helicopter Saturday morning after a young child was burned by hot liquid.

Goucher-White Plains Fire Chief Jimmy Lamb said the accident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. at a Bambi Trail, Cowpens, home when a 6-year-old boy possibly pulled a pot of hot liquid off a counter. The hot liquid spilled down the boy’s side and leg, Lamb said.

The young child, whose name was not released, was subsequently flown by helicopter to the burn center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Ga., Lamb said.

Lamb said the injuries were not life threatening but that it was decided the Augusta hospital was the best option.

“Obviously it was an accident,” Lamb said, “but it serves as a reminder about the danger of hot liquids or food within reach of children. In the blink of an eye, a life-changing accident can take place.”

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