Friday, April 06, 2012

I-95 reopens after medical helicopter breaks down: Helicopter responding to crash makes precautionary landing on highway

The northbound lanes of Interstate 95 are back open near County Road 210 in St. Johns County after a medical helicopter made an precautionary landing on the highway and caused delays. 

Problems began around 4:15 a.m. Friday when a red pickup truck weaved into another lane and went into the ditch, according to Florida Highway Patrol.  This caused a chain reaction and another driver rear-ended a third vehicle, troopers said.

Shands' Trauma One medical helicopter was brought in to transport the two people injured in the crash.  Paramedics got the patients loaded into the helicopter, but after getting 20 feet into the air, the helicopter pilot realized something was wrong and landed the chopper back on the highway.  The patients were transported via ambulance to Baptist South.

The helicopter was repaired and lifted off around 6:45 a.m.  Just before 7 a.m. Florida Highway Patrol reopened all northbound lanes of I-95 and traffic quickly returned to normal.


ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- A rescue helicopter responding to a wreck involving multiple vehicles broke down in Interstate 95 this morning, forcing the continued closure of the northbound lanes for more than two hours.

The accident happened after 4 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-95 near mile marker 326, just before CR-210.

According to those involved in the accident, a pickup truck was traveling northbound on I-95 when it veered into another lane and struck a Lexus. Another vehicle was approaching that wreck and swerved to avoid it, hitting yet another vehicle. A total of 4 vehicles were involved in the accident.

The pickup truck was seen flipped over on I-95. FHP has confirmed that the driver and a passenger of that truck have serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

A helicopter was called to the scene to transport the injured to the hospital. That rescue helicopter broke down in the center northbound lane of the interstate, where it remained until crews were able to repair it. It was repaired and eventually took off around 6:45 a.m.

The two injured were taken to Shands via ambulance instead. The drivers and passengers of the other vehicles involved were not injured.

All northbound lanes are still blocked with traffic being diverted onto International Golf Parkway. Drivers can expect major delays until the lanes are reopened. FHP has detour signs posted and you will want to take US-1 as an alternate route.

We have crews on the scene gathering more information right now and we will bring you updates as they come in.

First Coast News

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