A multi-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 98 today sent three victims to the hospital.
A small moving van making a lane change caused an orange Jeep to swerve into oncoming traffic in the eastbound lane of U.S. 98, causing a three-car pileup.
Ryan Hicks of Navarre stopped to assist the victims after he witnessed the accident.
Hicks said that the moving van was in the outside westbound lane and attempted to change to the inside lane, but did not see that the Jeep was already traveling in that lane. This forced the Jeep to swerve into the eastbound lane, where it hit a beige mini-van in the eastbound lane.
Firefighters and EMS crew were on scene to assist the victims, who waited for additional ambulances to ferry them to the hospital. The temperature was near 85 degrees, with high humidity, making caring for the victims of the accident uncomfortable.
First responders, bystanders, Hicks and Clinton Wells took turns holding sheets above the victims to provide them with some relief from the heat.
“We try to do that if they’re going to be out in the heat, you want to give them some shade,” said Ron Norton, Holley-Navarre Fire District fire chief. When accident victims are restrained on backboards and unable to move, temperatures can rapidly climb. In addition, the heat from the pavement can make the wait for an ambulance seem much longer.
All three victims were taken to area hospitals, said Norton. None of their injuries are life threatening.