An SUV flipped upside down and landed in a creek Sunday night, and the driver was pinned in for over an hour while crews worked to free him.

The single vehicle crash happened just after 7:30 p.m. on old U.S. 1 and Cranes Creek Road, outside of Vass.

Cypress Pointe Fire & Rescue arrived on scene and called Southern Pines Fire & Rescue for assistance due to the complexity of the rescue operation.

The driver of a Mercury Mariner SUV was headed north when he ran off the right side of the road. His vehicle came back onto the road, flipped over sliding into a guard rail, went up in the air, and landed upside down in a creek. 

The man’s leg was pinned in his vehicle due to the roof of the car being smashed down to the top of the seats, said Frank Staples with Cypress Pointe Fire & Rescue. The doors of the car were blocked by the sides of the creek, and water was running through the car. 

Once emergency crews were able to free the man from his car, he was placed in a stokes basket that was pulled up the embankment using ropes and personnel to get him to the waiting paramedics. He was then then transported to a waiting helicopter at the Vass ball field and flown to an area trauma center.

The man’s condition is unknown at this time; however, he was speaking to first responders. Authorities did not release the victim’s name.

Cypress Pointe Fire Chief Mike Cameron said this was one of the most technically difficult rescue operations that they could encounter. “All the team members worked so well together. As they would run up against an issue or obstacle, they would immediately shift gears and keep going. The teams just worked seamlessly in this very difficult situation.


Photo by Sandhills Sentinel contributor Frank Staples.

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