A 5-year-old child was pried from a car involved in a two-car crash at the intersection of U.S. 278 and Buck Island Road and flown by LifeStar helicopter to a Savannah hospital Monday, authorities said.
The child was riding in the front passenger seat of a white Honda Accord traveling westbound on Fording Island Road at about 11:30 a.m. when it collided with a Toyota Sienna making a left turn into Belfair Plantation, according to the Bluffton Police Department.
Three other people in the Accord also were injured. Driver Kenesha Stewart was taken by ambulance to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah for a serious injury, Bluffton police said. An 8-year-old child in the rear passenger seat also was taken to the Savannah hospital. A fourth person was treated at a local hospital, according to the Bluffton Township Fire District.
Neither child's injuries are being disclosed. Sgt. Joe Babkiewicz said all involved in the crash were wearing seat belts, but he did not know if booster seats or other child restraints were being used.
The driver of the Toyota Sienna, Jennifer Adams, was taken by ambulance to Coastal Carolina Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, according to a news release.
The crash totaled both vehicles and shut down traffic on the highway for an hour.
Babkiewicz said the crash occurred as the traffic light at the intersection turned yellow. He said both cars appeared to be trying to make it through the intersection before the light turned red.
The Bluffton Police Department is investigating the wreck and said in a news release that charges are pending.
Capt. Randy Hunter of the Bluffton Township Fire District said the child was not trapped in the wreckage, but paramedics used the Jaws of Life to reach the child more quickly.
Traffic flow was back to normal by early afternoon, but not for long: a two-car wreck shortly at about 3:30 p.m. on U.S. 278 in front of the Hilton Head BMW dealership brought cars to a halt for a second time.
In that collision, under investigation by S.C. Highway Patrol, two cars traveling eastbound collided and one person was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Further details were not available.