Emergency officials say a Williamsburg woman is lucky to be alive after her car flipped over on I-75 Friday morning and landed on top of the cable barrier that separates the north and southbound lanes of travel.
The crash happened about 10:43 a.m. Friday between the 12 and 13-mile markers on I-75.
Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputy John Hill said Amanda Widener, 27, of Ky. 92E, was driving a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix north on I-75 in the fast lane of travel when she came upon a blown out tire in the roadway.
“The witnesses said there was a big tire in the road, and she swerved left to miss it into the median,” Hill said.
Widener traveled through the median and hit the cable barrier flipping over landing upside down on top of the barrier destroying a portion of it, Hill said.
He said the cable barrier probably saved her life because if it hadn’t been present, she likely would have gone into the southbound lane and possibly struck an oncoming vehicle.
Widener was the only person in the vehicle, which was totaled in the crash.
Goldbug Volunteer Fire Department and Williamsburg Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and extricated Widener from the vehicle.
Goldbug Chief Brandon Woods estimated that it probably took about 20 – 25 minutes to free Widener from the vehicle.
“It was kind of an unusual situation,” Woods noted.
Widener’s head was pinned next to a post on one of the seats and her hair was also caught.
“Because of where she was pinned, we were real careful about extricating her and brought her out a little at a time,” Woods said. “She’s very lucky to be alive. She took a pretty good trip.”
While firefighters were extricating her from the vehicle, an Air Evac. Lifeteam emergency medical helicopter landed in the southbound lane of travel, which had been shut down at that point.
After Widener was freed from the vehicle about 11:20 a.m., she was wheeled via a stretcher into the back of a waiting Whitley County EMS ambulance.
After several minutes of treatment inside the ambulance, she was loaded onto the helicopter, which flew her to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment.
Hospital officials said that Widener was in stable condition about 3 p.m. Friday.
Hill was also assisted at the scene by court security officer Carl Neal and members of Kentucky State Police and KSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.
The southbound lanes of I-75 re-opened for travel about noon Friday.