ISLIP TERRACE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Following a wild crash on Long Island early Thursday, first responders said they saw something they had never witnessed before – a car flipped on its nose against a tree.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, the car crashed in Islip Terrace and left a teen driver injured and trapped with her car standing vertical.
Rescue crews had to use their ingenuity to pull her out.
Desperate screams for help could be heard from the young female driver trapped inside the vehicle near Exit 43 on the Southern State Parkway. Nearby Islip Terrace firefighters were first on the scene, and could barely believe their eyes.
“It looked like it was dropped from an airplane,” said Islip Terrace Fire Chief Joe Rosadio. “It was on its nose with the trunk facing the sky, leaning against the tree, and the only thing holding it up was a dead branch.”
The rescue crews were in jeopardy themselves, fearing the car could fall onto them. So they used the equipment on their trucks to stabilize the teetering vehicle.
“We secured the axle with some heavy chains to the tree behind it, and then we used strapping, tied that off to another tree,” Rosadio said, “and then we used a ladder to keep it from falling forward.”
The makeshift strategy worked, as rescuers gingerly stepped around the strung-up car to free the driver.
“Nine years I’ve been doing this. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Islip Terrace fire Lt. Joseph Felder. “The guys did a phenomenal job. They were able to extricate her fast.”
The big mystery that remains is how the vehicle ended up on its nose.
“I would think she rolled it, slid on the roof, and then hit that tree and it just – the momentum just tilted her up,” Rosadio said.
New York State Police identified the driver as Tania Dickerson, 18, of Central Islip.
They charged Dickerson with unlicensed operation of a vehicle, and say Dickerson has outstanding arrest warrants. Suffolk County police would not comment on what the arrest warrants were for.
Dickerson was taken to Northwell Health Southside Hospital in Bay Shore to be treated for what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.