2018-04-11 / Front Page

Three fishing buddies badly hurt in Monday wreck

BY ALLEN ESSEX
Reporter


FIRE FIGHTERS, paramedics and police work to free three men from a smashed pickup truck near San Perlita Monday. FIRE FIGHTERS, paramedics and police work to free three men from a smashed pickup truck near San Perlita Monday. Three men were badly injured in a one-vehicle accident east of San Perlita at about 3:40 p.m. Monday.

The driver of a westbound sport pickup truck towing a boat lost control on a curve and struck a palm tree with the boat separating from its trailer, ending up in a farm field, said Detective Sgt. Andrew Maldonado of the Willacy County Sheriff’s Department.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers were investigating the accident as Wil- lacy County Emergency Medical Service, Raymondville/Willacy County and Santa Monica Volunteer Fire Departments, sheriff’s and constables’ deputies attempted to extricate the driver and two passengers, Maldonado said.

Willacy County EMS Director Frank Torres said three men, including the 31-year-old driver, a 28-year-old front seat passenger and a 24-year-old back seat passenger, were all listed in critical condition by EMS. It took 1 1/2 hours to extricate the driver, who was taken to Valley Baptist Medical Center by helicopter. The other two were taken to VBMC emergency room by ambulances.


A DPS TROOPER examines a boat that ended up in a field after Monday’s accident. 
(Photos by Allen Essex) A DPS TROOPER examines a boat that ended up in a field after Monday’s accident. (Photos by Allen Essex) Three 15-person trauma teams were on standby at the hospital for the occupants of the truck. A Jaws of Life and other tools were needed to remove the driver who was pinned inside the crushed cab.

The driver’s vital signs, fluids, medications and all care were monitored by radio and cell phone with a trauma team doctor all through the process of cutting him out of the truck cab, Torres said.

The DPS is in charge of the accident investigation, Maldonado said.

Sheriff’s Department Major Ernie Garcia and Torres said they do not think the three men were from Willacy County.

DPS spokesman Lt. Johnny Hernandez was not available.

A spokesman for Valley Baptist Medical Center also was not available.

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