A Hope woman was injured Wednesday morning when her car was struck by a semi while attempting to cross Highway 67 at Melrose Lane.
JoAnn Sandlin, a founding member of Hope for Paws, pulled out from Melrose Lane at the intersection with Highway 67 shortly before 9 a.m. in her Ford Escape and into the path of westbound tractor-trailer. Driver Gabriel Martin of Gurdon said he tried to avoid the Ford but had few options. Martin swerved to the left into the eastbound lane but the front right of his Freightliner connected with the Sandlin’s Escape, sending it spinning and rolling into the ditch. Sandlin’s vehicle came to a stop on its driver side, facing back to the east.
Hempstead County Deputies, Hope Police, Arkansas State Police and Arkansas Highway Police were all dispatched to the crash. They secured the scene and cut traffic through the area to one lane while the scene was worked. Trooper Chris Bussey is investigating the crash.
Several Pafford employees first responded from the company’s corporate office near the location of the wreck and assisted the responding ambulance crew. They were able to make contact with Sandlin, who was conscious and responsive when they talked to her but was in a position where they couldn’t remove her from her car.
Hope Fire Department was requested for extrication. Two trucks and several reserve firefighters responded to the scene and began stabilizing the car which was on its side and spanning a ditch that runs perpendicular to the highway. Once the car was stable, they began cutting the roof of the car to make room to remove Sandlin safely.
Once firefighters had secured access to Sandlin, they assisted Pafford and the medical flight team from LifeNet in carefully pulling her from the car and carrying her to the ambulance. She was transported to the Pafford corporate office and transferred over to the waiting helicopter. She was flown by LifeNet to UAMS in Little Rock.