EAST LIVERPOOL - A woman delivering meals to shut-ins was injured Wednesday after being run down by the car she was driving for her deliveries.
A collaborative effort between emergency personnel and construction workers resulted in her being safely removed from being pinned underneath the vehicle.
Betty Ostick, 62, of East Palestine, was volunteering for Catholic Charities, driving one of the agency's vehicles on Laura Avenue when she turned onto Ambrose Avenue and encountered construction workers and vehicles.
Pat King of First Class Towing prepares to remove a vehicle from where it backed into a garage on Laura Avenue in East Liverpool, snaring the driver underneath. Firefighters, including David Edgell (right) used multiple air bags to lift the car from the driver. (Photo by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert)
Ostick decided to turn around and began backing down Laura Avenue when she thought she had struck another vehicle behind her, according to police Captain Terry Faulkner.
She exited her vehicle to look at the other car but apparently left her car in "reverse," and it began to move backward. Ostick reportedly became entangled in the seat belt and was knocked down, where her leg became ensnared in the axle, dragging her along with the car.
The vehicle's wheels turned slightly, causing it to turn and drift into the man door of a nearby garage owned by Dave Damaso, with Ostick pinned face-down underneath.
Faulkner said it was fortunate the vehicle was stopped by the garage so it did not continue down the steep grade of Laura Avenue and that Ostick was pinned face-down, meaning her leg that was trapped around the front wheel was naturally bent at the knee and not backward.
He sat with her and her passenger, who had been in the back seat, unable to assist, until the fire department arrived on the scene.
"She was conscious and coherent at the scene," Faulkner said, adding she was in considerable pain.
The four firefighters on duty arrived with two engines and used multiple air bags to begin lifting the car from Ostick's prone figure.
As they began to lift the vehicle, it kept drifting, and according to assistant fire Chief Jeff Kreefer, "We commandeered the backhoe off the work crew," using a chain attached to the hoe and to the car to stabilize it so it would no longer move.
"My guys did an outstanding job; it went real smooth. I can't thank them enough," Kreefer said of firefighters who assisted.
Once Ostick was removed from under the vehicle, she was transported to East Liverpool City Hospital by Tri-County Ambulance. Her condition was not immediately known.
Pat King of First Class Towing was able to drive the vehicle away from the garage, and another volunteer from Catholic Charities drove it from the scene.