Airbags Credited for Saving Life in Rollover Accident on 159th St.
Two people were taken to Christ after a collision that left car parts all over 159th Street near 84th Avenue, blocking traffic moving both ways.
Police are investigating the cause of an accident Wednesday evening that left two people injured, and two cars totaled out with debris thrown across a stretch of 159th Street.
The Orland Fire Protection District was called about the crash in the 8400 block of 159th Street, near the entrance of the Mercedes dealership, just after 6 p.m. An SUV was left with heavy front damage, coming to rest on the north side of 159th Street, while a sedan also was heavily damaged and stopped on the street’s south side, Orland Fire Battalion Chief William Bonnar said.
The driver of the SUV was the only person riding in it, and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center. Two of the three people in the sedan were checked for injuries, but chose not to be taken to the hospital, Bonnar said. One passenger in the sedan was pinned inside the wrecked car, and needed extensive extrication to be removed, Bonnar said.
Teams from an engine with the Tinley Park Fire Department and an engine team from Orland cut away at the car to get the passenger out, which took about 20 minutes, Bonnar said. The passenger was then taken to Christ as well.
“The curtain, seat and front air bags probably saved that person’s life,” Bonnar said. “The amount of crush on that car and what it took to cut that person out, the only reason that person is alive is the air bags. It definitely prevented a death there.”
The accident left debris all across and 80-foot wide stretch of 159th Street. Tinley Park and Orland Park police officers were recreating the scene and talking to witnesses as of 7:30 p.m. Traffic moving in both directions was blocked.
Two Orland engines came to the scene, as well as a Tinley engine, an Orland ambulance and a Trace ambulance, along with police personnel from Orland and Tinley.
“We’re glad no one was killed in this crash,” Bonnar said. “Airbags really made a difference. We see less and less severe injuries from crashes because of them.”