Crash victim flown to hospital after wreck on I-5

Paramedics prepare a crash victim for transport via helicopter. (Twitter: NewsSourceLA)

A crash victim was flown to a nearby hospital after multiple vehicles collided on the freeway north of Santa Clarita Wednesday afternoon.

California Highway Patrol dispatchers received 911 calls at 2:23 p.m. regarding a multiple vehicle collision on the northbound lanes of Interstate 5, just south of Vista Del Lago Road, according to Officer Elizabeth Kravig of the Southern Division Traffic Management Center.

One of the vehicles involved was apparently a blue Nissan Pathfinder SUV, she said.

Because the crash occurred in an area of Los Angeles County managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Angeles National Forest fire units were dispatched to the scene.

Within minutes, a request was made by the forest service for additional resources from the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

This procedure is typically practiced after the federal fire agency assesses the patient and determines a need for what’s called a “mutual aid request,” said Fire Department Inspector Richard Licon.

County resources first to arrive to the scene quickly expressed a need for a helicopter to transport one of the crash victims, Licon explained.

Copter 14 was dispatched to the freeway minutes later.

A landing zone was formed by the engine company crew of Castaic’s Fire Station 149.

The helicopter touched down on the shut down freeway and took off about ten minutes later with one patient in critical condition.

The decision to use a helicopter instead of traversing the twists and turns of Interstate 5 via ground ambulance came about as the clock on what’s called “The Golden Hour” ticked away, Licon explained.

“The decision was not just because of distance, but because of the time of the accident,” he said.

Emergency trauma surgeons typically want the patient at the hospital and, in the worst case scenario, under the knife within one hour of the incident.

That means first responders must travel to the scene, free the victim from the wreck and safely transport them to the nearest trauma-certified medical center.

“They want to make it as quickly as possible,” Licon said.

“The longer we wait, it lessens their chance of survival.”

All lanes of Interstate 5 were clear by 3:19 p.m., Kravig said.


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