Pickup jumps over parkway guardrail

An unnamed woman from West Virginia survived a car accident on the Prince William Parkway in which her pickup truck jumped a guardrail, flipped several times down an embankment and landed in a rock-filled creek late Monday afternoon.

Prince William County fire and rescue personnel rushed to the womans aid around 4:20 p.m. near the 6 kilometer marker on the eastbound side of the parkway, said Division Chief Kevin McGee, who was on the scene.

Firefighters got to the trapped woman, who suffered head injuries, by ripping open her truck a tan Mazda with the Jaws of Life, McGee said.

“They extracted her by using (ladder) Tower 13 as a crane … and then lifted her out using the Stokes basket,” McGee said of the portable stretcher. “We only use this [method] once or twice a year.”

The woman was then loaded into a helicopter and flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital.

The driver was in the left lane heading east on the parkway sometime after 4 p.m. when she noticed that her truck had drifted off into the gravel shoulder, said First Sgt. Steve Reed of the Prince William County police department.

“When she corrected herself, she went too far,” Reed said. “During the accident, an entire wheel came off her truck. I would say shes very fortunate to be alive.”

Thick skid marks were burnt into the road and the guard rail was mangled in the place where her truck, the only vehicle involved in the accident, ran over it.

Reed added that the trucks position on top of rocks in the creek, but not under water approximately 50 feet below the road made the rescue difficult.

Police were investigating the accident that shut down the eastbound lanes of the parkway for several hours during the evening commute. Preliminary signs indicate that speed was not a factor in the crash, Reed said.

The woman was listed in stable condition Monday night and was expected to be released by today, county police Officer Ruben Castilla said.

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