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Early morning crash sends Goshen man to hospital

  • Goshen firefighter Johnathan Schwaiger watches as the totaled Toyota Camry is pulled on to a tow truck after the early morning accident  Sunday.<br/><br/>PHOTO BY Goshen Fire Captain Bob Labrie

    Goshen firefighter Johnathan Schwaiger watches as the totaled Toyota Camry is pulled on to a tow truck after the early morning accident Sunday.

    PHOTO BY Goshen Fire Captain Bob Labrie Purchase photo reprints »

  • After hitting an embankment and becoming air born, the Toyota Camry slammed into an Oak with such force that it literally wrapped itself around the tree.<br/> PHOTO BY Goshen Fire Captain Bob Labrie.

    After hitting an embankment and becoming air born, the Toyota Camry slammed into an Oak with such force that it literally wrapped itself around the tree.
    PHOTO BY Goshen Fire Captain Bob Labrie. Purchase photo reprints »

  •  Damage done to the Toyota Camry after careening into an oak tree on Route 9 in Goshen early Sunday morning. PHOTO BY Goshen Fire Captain Bob Labrie.<br/>

    Damage done to the Toyota Camry after careening into an oak tree on Route 9 in Goshen early Sunday morning. PHOTO BY Goshen Fire Captain Bob Labrie.
    Purchase photo reprints »

  • Goshen firefighter Johnathan Schwaiger watches as the totaled Toyota Camry is pulled on to a tow truck after the early morning accident  Sunday.<br/><br/>PHOTO BY Goshen Fire Captain Bob Labrie
  • After hitting an embankment and becoming air born, the Toyota Camry slammed into an Oak with such force that it literally wrapped itself around the tree.<br/> PHOTO BY Goshen Fire Captain Bob Labrie.
  •  Damage done to the Toyota Camry after careening into an oak tree on Route 9 in Goshen early Sunday morning. PHOTO BY Goshen Fire Captain Bob Labrie.<br/>

At 2:35 a.m. Goshen firefighters were called to the scene of the accident where the Jaws of Life were employed to extricate Goshen resident Todd Frenier from his crushed vehicle.

The accident happened several hundred yards east of the former Whale Inn.

“This was a bad accident,” Fire Chief Sue Labrie said. “The car was literally wrapped around an oak tree. Honestly, when I was walking up to the vehicle, I was pretty sure I was going to see a corpse,” she said.

To Labrie’s surprise, Frenier, the sole occupant of the car, was conscious and communicative, but he was trapped in the vehicle.

With temperatures in the mid-20s, firefighters rushed to remove the windshield and peel off the roof of the car to get to Frenier.

According to Labrie, the front air bags in the car had not functioned, but a side curtain deployed on the passenger side where the car came to rest, likely saving the driver’s life.

“His foot was stuck between the steering wheel and the driver’s seat and he was lying on the passenger side of the vehicle,” Labrie said.

The vehicle was heading west on Route 9 when it crossed the centerline and hit an embankment on the opposite side of the street, which launched it into the air. The car continued to roll until it came to a stop after slamming into the tree, wrapping its undercarriage around a full-size oak.

Labrie said Frenier, who was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash, remained conscious throughout the extrication process and reported to police that he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Two residents living nearby heard the crash and immediately called 911. Labrie said that one resident reported seeing an emergency vehicle at the scene within 30 seconds. By happenstance, firefighter Johnathan Schwaiger was returning home when he came across the accident just after it occurred, aiding in the department’s quick response.

According to Labrie, seven firefighters, the Goshen Police, Massachusetts State Police, Highland EMS and Pioneer Valley Paramedics responded to the scene.

Frenier was transported by Highland Ambulance to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield where hospital spokeswoman Jane Albert reported Sunday afternoon that he was in fair condition.

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