Chattanooga crash victim still in critical condition

Chattanooga crash victim still in critical condition

June 5th, 2012 by Staff Report in News

Ronnie Craig, of Wick's Wrecker Service, looks at the scene Sunday afternoon where a Mercedes SUV apparently went over the railing on U.S. Highway 27 southbound and landed next to the railroad tracks near the Manning Street exit. The driver was in critical condition Sunday night.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

The driver of a car that lost control and drove off U.S. 27 Sunday was still listed in critical condition Monday afternoon, according to Erlanger officials.

Samuel Anderson, 36, was traveling southbound on U.S. 27 when he lost control of the Mercedes SUV he was driving, hit the concrete barrier, then possibly rolled down an embankment before eventually landing upside down in a large mud pit near the Manning Street exit, according to Chattanooga Police Department spokesman Nathan Hartwig.

Anderson was transported to Erlanger and treated for serious injuries, Hartwig said.

On Monday, Anderson was still in surgical intensive care at Erlanger, according to operator Alma Thompson.

Crews responded to the scene at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Emergency personnel had to strip the seats out of the wrecked, upside-down vehicle and use jaws of life to pry Anderson from the wreckage. He was covered in mud and debris and was seen moving slightly, but his eyes were closed and he was not observed talking.

Though he was conscious, Anderson was unable to give specifics of when the crash occurred, according to a police officer at the scene Sunday. It is still unknown what caused Anderson to lose control of the SUV, Hartwig said.

Although a number of incidents on that specific area of the highway was unavailable, having a vehicle drive entirely off this specific patch of highway is "very rare," Hartwig said.

The vehicle had a Marion County license plate, and clothes and luggage littered the accident scene.