First responders say Cottonwood Heights crash led to ‘technical’ extrication

Aug 17, 2023, 6:32 PM

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — First responders that helped extricate a woman pinned underneath a pickup truck in Cottonwood Heights was “technical” and “unique,” and hours of training prepared them.

The crash happened Wednesday night on Highland Drive near the I-215 offramp.

“We knew it was going to be time-consuming, but we were working as a team as quickly, proficiently, professionally as possible to extricate the victim,” said Collin Jefferies with the Unified Fire Authority’s Heavy Rescue Program.

Cottonwood Heights police said a white pickup truck was heading northbound on Highland Drive around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday when it crossed four lanes of traffic and collided with two other vehicles on the I-215 offramp near 6200 South.

The truck crushed the top of one of the vehicles.

According to police, the victim was trapped inside the car for about an hour before first responders could pull her to safety, using nearly every tool to do so.

“Lifting, cutting, strutting, we used struts to stabilize the vehicle,” Jefferies said. “That was our number one priority.”

semi-tractor tow truck helped lift that pickup truck.

Jefferies said every crash they respond to, including Wednesdays, is a learning experience to help save lives.

“When we get that call and we arrived we’re going to do everything we can to provide a positive outcome.”

Police arrested Jacob Hernandez, 22, for investigation of negligently operating a vehicle resulting in serious injury, possession of a weapon by a restricted person, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and never obtaining a license.

Police said he admitted to reaching for a water bottle he dropped while speeding on Highland Drive.

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First responders say Cottonwood Heights crash led to ‘technical’ extrication