Northwest Fire crews were dispatched to the area of Speedway Bl. and Anklam Road at 2:47 a.m. Saturday after receiving reports of a motor vehicle accident. Arriving in the area within minutes, the first arriving company was unable to locate the accident. Based on their experience of calls in the past, the crew continued into the Gates Pass area, which is part f the Saguaro National Monument Park and located the scene.
When they arrived, they had a vehicle that had lost control, left the roadway and traveled down an embankment approximately 40 feet. Within the car they found two patients, both females with one of the patients trapped and the second patient who was conscious but also injured. Additional units including the Northwest Fire Districts Technical rescue Team (TRT) were called to the scene to assist with the extrication, treatment and haul systems needed to bring the victims up to the roadway for transportation to the hospital. Northwest Fire was assisted by units from the Drexel Heights Fire District in completing the rescue.
Scene operations consisted of a Medical Group which included Northwest Fire paramedics treating the patients in the car and continuing the treatment during the extrication up the embankment and into ground ambulances. A Rescue Group set up and managed the haul system used to assist the rescuers down to the car and victims. The Rescue Group then began sending equipment to the car and provided assistance with transporting the the patients up the embankment. The rescue effort took 33 minutes from the arrival of the first engine company.
The driver of the car was a 20 year-old female in stable condition with minor injuries and the passenger was a 21 year-old female that suffered serious injuries. Both occupants of the car were wearing seatbelts at the time of the incident which may have contributed to preventing critical if not fatal injuries. Both patients were transported by ground ambulance to the trauma center at the University of Arizona Medical Center’s Main Campus.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department was on the scene to conduct the investigation into the cause of the incident.