Driver airlifted to Savannah hospital after hitting tree in Burton

The driver of an SUV was flown to a Savannah hospital after he hit a tree early Thursday on Joe Frazier Road in Burton.

The single-car wreck occurred at about 2:30 a.m. when the vehicle ran off the road and struck a tree near the Burton Wells Sporting Complex, according to Burton Fire District spokesman Dan Byrne.

The driver was trapped in the mangled vehicle for about 45 minutes as firefighters worked to free him, Byrne said. Authorities believe he was not wearing a seat belt.

He was transported by ambulance to a waiting helicopter and flown to Memorial University Medical Center with "serious injuries," Byrne said.

Fire district officials declined to release the driver's identity, citing medical privacy laws. An update on his condition was unavailable Thursday night.

Joe Frazier Road was closed for more than an hour while firefighters tended to the injured man and cleared the roadway.

The S.C. Highway Patrol and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office also responded.