BELLE — A 19-year-old Belle woman received serious injuries Sept. 23 in a one-vehicle accident when the 2015 Chevrolet Traverse she was operating traveled off of the left side of the …
BELLE — A 19-year-old Belle woman received serious injuries Sept. 23 in a one-vehicle accident when the 2015 Chevrolet Traverse she was operating traveled off of the left side of the roadway, struck a bridge and caught fire.
Madilynn L. Long was traveling westbound at 8:40 a.m. on Route C approximately one mile east of State Highway 28 when the incident occurred and her car traveled down a hillside covered in patches of brush and thorn bushes.
A Bland man traveling by noticed the vehicle and called 911 to report that someone was still in it and the vehicle had caught fire.
“We received a 911 call for a car accident with entrapment,” said Sheriff’s Major Scott John, chief of the Belle Division. “Vienna, Maries County Belle Division and Missouri State Highway Patrol were all dispatched to the call.”
Belle Division’s Deputy Tanner Hinson was the first to arrive on scene, within 10 minutes of the call, to see a civilian, Sam Farrar of Bland, with Long beside the vehicle and attempting to move her as the vehicle fire continued to spread.
Hinson reported she was conscious but not aware. Farrar reportedly removed Long from the vehicle and she was leaning against the side of the car on the ground.
“With Sam’s help they were able to get her out of the car, up the embankment and away from the burning vehicle,” John said. “It was a pretty good sized embankment with a lot of briar. Tanner put her over his shoulder and carried her as far as he could with Sam’s help. Not too long after he got her out of the car, within two or three minutes, it became fully engulfed with flames and throwing debris.”
When emergency services arrived on scene they were concerned about a neck injury. Long was air lifted by Phelps Air to University Hospital, Columbia.
According to Long’s parents, Tim and Anna Long, her injuries included a broken arm, broken ankle, blunt force trauma to her colon, several stitches and lacerations.
“Madi is doing good,” Tim Long reported. “Her surgery has been postponed until tomorrow. She will have to have surgery on her ankle, but she got out of bed and sat in a chair this morning.”
Tim Long explained that his daughter was driving his vehicle, which had a box of ammunition and a small propane tank that fuels a portable heater. When the car caught fire, the ammunition went off and the tank exploded.
“I am a believer,” Tim Long said. “I know my daughter and I know how she tolerates pain. When they flew her out, I asked for a miracle.”
A section of Long’s colon was surgically removed because of internal bleeding and she seems to be doing well. Doctors are waiting for the swelling in her leg to go down before doing surgery and Tim Long says they are hoping both the arm and ankle can be repaired at the same time.
“They are talking about a week of physical therapy afterwards to help her recover faster,” Tim Long said.
Long’s mother Anna Long said they are hoping the therapy will make the recovery easier.
The family is unsure when they will be leaving the hospital.
“I believe we had a miracle between the helicopter and the hospital,” Tim Long said. “If you seen the car you would never think anybody walked away from it.”
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