HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man was critically hurt in a Hickman County car crash on I-40 over the weekend.
What makes this story unique is the patient was saved by a Vanderbilt ambulance crew that just happened to be driving by because the weather was bad and the chopper was grounded.
Vanderbilt Officials told News 2 that on Saturday night, Vanderbilt LifeFlight was scheduled to pick up a sick patient in Henry County and transport the patient back to Nashville. But foul weather grounded the chopper and required they dispatch the medical center’s brand new Critical Care Transport Unit.
Along the way west on I-40 in Hickman County, they encountered a man on the side of the road waving for help.
“Minutes did matter in this situation and our team was in the right place at the right time,” said Michael Wallace, Director of the Life flight Ground Transport Program.
When the crew arrived they found a badly mangled truck off the road and injured patients.
According to radio transmissions, two patients were hurt, one more critically than the other.
“We do advanced procedures and care in the back of the truck that normal ALS ambulances in Tennessee don’t have. A lot of them don’t carry blood; we do. We are the first ambulance in Tennessee to carry o negative blood,” said John Russell, Supervisor of the ground transport program.
Russell says the crew of up to five has advanced medical training and the truck is able to carry many life-saving components.
Vandy medical officials said it is very possible the victim might have perished on the side of the road if this unit didn’t drive by when it did.
“The odds of our teams coming upon a situation like this in the middle of the night in bad weather conditions is extremely rare. it was a miracle. that we were at the right place at the right time,” said Michael Wallace.
The patient was brought to Vanderbilt Medical Center for treatment.
Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating the wreck.
What caused the crash and how the patient is doing has not been released yet.