Sturdier Cars Slow Rescuers

Posted on Mar 28, 2008

Capt. Clint Roberts makes his living cutting accident victims out of hideously mangled vehicles, but even he could hardly believe it when two people in a 2007 midsize car survived a head-on crash with a full- sized pickup last year.

The Ford Fusion's reinforced steel construction probably saved the lives of the 18-year-old driver and his 16-year-old passenger. But Roberts said it gave his Hillsborough County Fire Rescue crew fits as they tried to free them last November.

Because hydraulic cutters couldn't shear the roof posts, rescue workers had to turn to heavy-duty electric saws, replacing blade after blade as they dulled on the rugged material.

"It was just beating the snot out of the tools," adding minutes and delaying medical treatment, Roberts said.

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