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Woman on mobility scooter struck and pinned under minivan in Nanaimo

Firefighters use specialized equipment to lift vehicle and free patient

Nanaimo’s firefighters had to bring their life-saving skills to the scene to rescue a woman trapped under a vehicle at a downtown intersection.

The incident happened shortly before 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 27, on Front Street at the intersection in front of the Nanaimo Harbour ferry terminal. A Dodge minivan collided with a mobility scooter, and the impact knocked over the scooter and its rider, trapping one of the woman’s legs which prevented rescuers from pulling her out from under the vehicle.

When firefighters arrived, they first tried to free the victim by lifting the van with a ladder, said Nanaimo Fire Rescue captain Ian Stenberg.

“We have a technique for lifting a vehicle with our ladders, but we couldn’t get enough height, so we had to use airbags to lift the vehicle,” he said.

A rescue truck that carries airbags and other specialized rescue equipment was already on its way to the scene and once the vehicle was lifted and secured from shifting, firefighters and B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics were able to quickly pull the woman free and rush her to hospital. Bystanders said the woman was conscious and talking throughout the ordeal.

Stenberg confirmed the patient had suffered a leg injury, but he did not have information about the severity of the injury.

Firefighters and bystanders said even though the scooter trapped the woman’s leg, it likely protected her from being more seriously injured.

The intersection remained closed for Nanaimo RCMP to conduct their investigation.

READ ALSO: Crash sends SUV tumbling off side of the highway south of Nanaimo

Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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