An elderly Greenfield man sustained what investigating officers called “serious injuries” following a one-vehicle rollover accident early Friday afternoon on SR 753, approximately one mile south of Greenfield.
Trooper David Beck of the Wilmington Ohio State Highway Patrol Post, told The Times-Gazette that Clarence Gates, 88, Greenfield, was traveling southbound on SR 753 when on approach to a curve and hill, his vehicle went off the right side of the roadway, traveling along the ditch line before striking a fence.
He said the vehicle, a 2008 Chevrolet SUV, then overturned as it went through a small creek and came to rest on the driver’s side, trapping Gates inside the vehicle.
Emergency units from the Paint Creek Joint Fire/EMS Fire District arrived on the scene within minutes and cut the top of the vehicle off.
“He was conscious, talking, knew his name and knew where he was,” Beck said. “He did say he didn’t remember what happened during the crash, just said he realized he was going off the road and that’s where he ended up.”
Mike Hurley of Greenfield almost witnessed the accident, and said he was northbound on SR 753 when he saw Gate’s vehicle on its side in a field, smoking and the engine still running.
“I stopped and jumped the fence, and he was in and out of consciousness,” Hurley said. “I got the car turned off and then just tried to keep him awake, and a passerby stopped and called 9-1-1, so I told him help was on the way.”
Traffic was blocked both northbound and southbound on SR 753, so Gates’ condition could be stabilized until he was flown by helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.
Beck credited Gates’ survival to the fact that he was wearing a seat belt.
“Seat belts save lives, so always buckle up,” he reminded drivers.
No citation was issued pending conclusion of the accident investigation.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571