Harrison County

Off-duty first responders saved trapped driver from drowning after crash, Coast official says

This SUV overturned at the Interstate 10 on-ramp at Exit 20 in Harrison County, trapping the driver in a watery drainage culvert on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.
This SUV overturned at the Interstate 10 on-ramp at Exit 20 in Harrison County, trapping the driver in a watery drainage culvert on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. Harrison County Fire Service

Passersby who saw an SUV crashed into a water-filled drainage ditch at an Interstate 10 on-ramp “jumped into action,” holding the driver’s head out of water until help arrived, an official said.

The driver, a man from Illinois, had been traveling on Kiln-DeLisle Road and was turning right to head east on I-10 when he crashed at about 4:50 p.m. Saturday, Mississippi Highway Patrol Master Sgt. Chase Elkins said.

The SUV overturned, coming to rest on the driver’s side in a watery ditch near DeLisle/Pass Christian Exit 20, trapping the driver.

Some off-duty firefighters and police officers who were passing by stopped and realized the driver was pinned in the SUV and couldn’t keep his head above the water, Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said.

They held up his head until fire and rescue units arrived and stabilized the vehicle so they could remove him safely, Sullivan said. The water was not deep, but was deep enough to endanger the injured man, he said.

The driver “is lucky to be alive,” Sullivan said.

An American Medical Response ambulance crew took the man to Garden Park Medical Center for what was believed to be moderate injuries, Elkins said.

Responding agencies include West Harrison and Pass Christian fire departments, the Combat Readiness Training Center from Gulfport and Harrison County Fire Service.

What happened to cause the crash is unclear.

The highway patrol is investigating.

Robin Fitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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