Northview grad, senior trapped inside when car hits tree, bursts into flames
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
A 2019 Northview High School graduate and a member of the school’s Class of 2020 remained in critical condition in a Mobile hospital’s burn unit this week after the car in which they were traveling ran off a Gonzalez street, hit a tree and burst into flames last week.
According to a family member, 19-year-old Paige Roberts of Pensacola and Ashlynne Goins, 18, of Pace are each showing some signs of improvement. Both girls were trapped in the burning vehicle for several minutes before Escambia Fire Rescue personnel extinguished the blaze and eventually rescued them.
Several bystanders who drove up on the wreck tried in vain to get the women, each of whom suffered “serious injuries and significant burns,” out of the fiery wreckage. More than a dozen first responders were finally able to pull them from the mangled and smoldering mass.
“(Paige) is in very serious condition and badly burned,” the woman’s grandfather, Michael Walker, posted on Facebook late last week. “It took the rescue workers over an hour to get her outta her car once they got the fire put out.”
Roberts graduated from NHS this year, while Goins, who reportedly lives with the Roberts family in Pace, is a senior at the Bratt school.
According to Florida Highway Patrol reports, Roberts was driving a 2011 Chevy Cruze northward on Pauline Street, approaching Rusty Lane, around 10:30 p.m. last Wednesday, October 2, when the car “began traveling north on the east shoulder of Pauline Street” and “as a result, struck a tree.” Goins was a passenger in the compact sedan.
Roberts was flown by medical evacuation helicopter to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, while Goins was taken to the same facility by ambulance. Both were later transferred to the burn center of USA Health University Hospital in Mobile.
Madison Kemp said Sunday Roberts and Goins were showing some signs of improvement, although neither has been permanently taken off the ventilators that are forcing air into their seared lungs.
“Both are making slight improvements day by day,” Kemp said. “Paige was taken off of the ventilator for a few hours yesterday (Saturday), but it was too taxing for her body to breathe on its own, so she was placed back on it early this morning. Ashlynne hasn’t been removed from hers yet, and that’s not even an option to consider until next week. though she is gradually being weaned off.
“They both have their own struggles, but neither of them (is) getting worse, so we are very hopeful.”