The brute physical strength of several police and firefighters helped free an elderly man who was pinned under his pickup truck for nearly two hours Sunday evening.
Police said the 86-year-old man, Franc Us, was pinned for about an hour and a half before emergency crews arrived at his Stratfield Road residence at 6 p.m. on April 20. He was listed in critical condition at an area hospital Monday morning.
While police are still working to fill in all the blanks, a preliminary investigation has revealed that Us was attempting to park the pickup in his garage. When rescuers found him, his abdomen area was pinned between the driver's side door and the vehicle, which had become wedged against the garage.
The car was in drive and the keys were in the ignition, but the pickup was turned off when emergency responders arrived, police said.
According to a statement from a witness — a 26-year-old Fairfield woman who was attending a family party next door to Us' house at the time — there was a loud bang around 4:30 p.m. The witness reportedly told police she saw a pickup truck wedged against the garage, but that she didn't see anyone.
About an hour and a half later — at 5:58 p.m. — the woman reportedly heard loud cries for help as she was leaving her party, police said. It was at that time that she saw Us pinned under the vehicle and called 911, according to the police report.
Police and firefighters were on scene minutes later. After assessing the complexity of the rescue and the apparent severity of injuries, Fairfield firefighters determined that the quickest way to get the vehicle off of Us was to lift it themselves.
"Due to the wedged patient, complexity of the area and tight access, multiple options both of a mechanical and pneumatic were contemplated to free the trapped elderly man, but it was low-tech brute strength teamwork with the assistance of on scene police officers that helped free the patient," Assistant Chief Erik Kalapir said.
The rescue was caught on video by DoingItLocal.com and shared on YouTube — a copy of which has been embedded with this article.
As is the case with similar incidents, the Fairfield Police Department's investigation will include a determination of whether alcohol or drugs played a factor in the accident, Lt. James Perez said.