Firefighters say I-77 Chester County crash is worst they’ve ever seen

Published: Sep. 2, 2016 at 4:22 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 3, 2016 at 2:52 AM EDT
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(Source: Richburg Fire Department)
(Source: Richburg Fire Department)

CHESTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - First responders working for the Richburg Fire Department have been going to bad accidents for years. However, they can safely say Thursday's wreck on I-77 is the worst crash they've ever seen.

The Chester County Coroner said the crash site looked like a war zone. Truck driver, identified Friday as 59-year-old Norman Edward Kimble of Pennsylvania, was killed in the crash.

Another person killed in the crash will be identified after their family has been notified of their death. Ten others were injured in the traffic collision. The crash happened around 3:13 p.m. on northbound I-77 near mile marker 68, which is just north of Exit 65, the Lancaster Highway exit.

RELATED: Two killed in fiery multiple-vehicle crash on I-77 in Chester County

Emergency Management officials said it appeared a tractor trailer jackknifed while attempting to stop for traffic that had braked ahead, which led to a series of crashes that affected both north and southbound lanes.

Three tractor-trailers and four cars were involved in the crash. The Interstate was shut down in both directions for an extended period of time.

Assistant Chief T Melton with the Richburg Fire Department said he was responding to another accident when he arrived at the scene of the fiery crash. He was the first firefighter there.

"It was chaotic," said Melton. "It was almost like a scene from a movie-fire everywhere."

He said dispatchers promptly told them there had been reports of multiple explosions in the area.


"I've been in 31 years and this is probably the worst one I've driven up on," said Melton.

He said the situation included active fires along with vehicle entrapments and ejections. He said the whole scene was very hectic. A child was even ejected from a vehicle and remained in their car seat during the ejection.

"There was such a violent impact on the van that the child was in'" explained Melton.

He said the seat that the car seat was mounted into was thrown from the vehicle and then the car seat became detached from the other seat. He said the child's car seat appeared to have been properly installed. Officials said the child survived the incident.

Luckily, the Richburg firefighters had help from several different agencies.

"It was amazing. We could not have made it without everybody that was there," said Melton.

Officials have also not disclosed the severity of the injuries sustained by those in the crash.

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