Ovilla Volunteer Fire Department had quite a day on Thursday, June 18th. Their morning began with a structure fire on Suckstem Branch that resulted in a total loss. Later in the day, they responded when that fire rekindled, causing concern to a passerby.
Shortly after clearing the scene from Suckstem, Station 1 was dispatched to Matney Road off South 48 Creek for a report of a trackhoe that had overturned, and the driver was stuck in the pond with the equipment. Station 9 responded as mutual aid due to the nature of the call.
Ovilla Chief Kevin Slone arrived to the given location to find an overturned trackhoe on the edge of a pond. It appeared the bank had caved in, causing the equipment to fall into the water. The driver of the trackhoe was pinned underneath the hydraulic system for the boom of the trackhoe, and was trapped in the water up to his shoulders – pinned within the support bars of the cab.
Chief Slone assessed the situation and radioed for additional units and equipment in an effort to extricate the trackhoe operator. Station 1, Station 7, Station 8, and Waynesboro City responded to the scene to assist with this process. Shortly after more equipment arrived, the trackhoe operator was able to be safely removed from under the equipment with assistance from a JAWS unit. Wayne EMS responded to assess the driver’s medical condition, and he reportedly suffered no major injuries.
Fortunately, due to the effort of all the responders, what could have been a tragic outcome to this accident had a much better and happier ending!