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1-car crash sends AFD unit into Fla.

AFD Chief Ron Peebles, second from left, talks with a Walnut Hill firefighter as the helicopter lifts off in the background.


News Staff Writer

Atmore fire and rescue personnel were dispatched around 2:20 p.m. Thursday, April 28, to 8181 Fla. Highway 97, about 7 miles inside the Florida line, when Walnut Hill volunteers reported that the driver of a wrecked Chevy Malibu was trapped inside the car.

AFD Chief Ron Peebles noted that the department responded under a mutual aid agreement with the Walnut Hill first responders.

The city fire chief said his men arrived to find the victim had already been extricated from the car, which had Florida plates, by the volunteer unit, and a medical evacuation helicopter was already on the ground.

“We carried the victim to the helicopter,” said Peebles, who added that “we always respond when there’s a report of somebody trapped.”

Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers were at last report still looking into the cause of the mishap. An Escambia County (Fla.) deputy reported that the car left the highway, hit a culvert and went airborne.

Traffic on Highway 97 – which links Atmore with U.S. 29 to Pensacola – was only briefly interrupted.

FHP no longer provides names of accident victims on its reports, so the driver’s identity and the severity of his injuries were unavailable.