Man gets trapped under mobile home

Published 10:45 pm Friday, August 3, 2012

A medical helicopter transports a patient who was trapped under a mobile home from County Road 304 in Coffee County, Ala., Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

By Whitley Kilcrease

Troy Fire Department and CARE Ambulance of Troy, along with other first responders, were called to an accident Friday on Coffee County Road 305 where a man was trapped for more than half an hour under a mobile home.

Derek Vance, 31, of Zion Chapel was setting up a singlewide mobile home for his daughter and son-in-law when one of the jacks supporting the structure collapsed, trapping Vance underneath.

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“I think this is my first time seeing a situation like this,” Chief Ronnie Whitworth of the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, said. “It’s not something that happens very often.”

Whitworth said his department responded to the scene, along with TFD, CARE, Elba Fire Department, Coffee County EMS, Luverne Fire and Rescue, Zion Chapel Volunteer Fire Department, and Henderson Volunteer Fire Department.

Vance was treated on the scene and later airlifted and transported to Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan by Ft. Rucker’s Flatiron helicopter.

Glenn Smith of Smith Manufactured Housing in Troy was also on the scene, at the request of Vance’s wife, Beth. He assisted with lifting the structure while the medical and fire personnel extracted Vance from underneath.

Smith said Vance was trapped from the waist down and also suffered a broken arm.

“He was in a lot of pain,” Smith said. “But he was alert and talking to us the whole time.”

According to Vance’s wife, there was no internal bleeding or pelvic injuries, though he is being held for evaluation in case complications arise. He is also to undergo surgery to repair injuries to his broken arm.

“God was with him,” Beth Vance said. “He was protecting him.”