Nurse stops to help, puts tourniquet on driver after cement truck crashes near Phoenix airport

Jul 26, 2023, 8:59 AM | Updated: 12:15 pm

A cement truck rolled over on a freeway ramp near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Wedne...

A cement truck rolled over on a freeway ramp near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Wednesday, July 26, 2023. (Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera)

(Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera)

PHOENIX — A cement truck driver was seriously injured Wednesday morning when his vehicle tipped over on a freeway ramp near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, authorities said.

A nurse who stopped to provide treatment may have saved the man’s life, Phoenix Fire Captain Scott Douglas told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The driver was partially ejected from the truck when it crashed on the ramp from eastbound Sky Harbor Boulevard to southbound State Route 143 around 7:50 a.m., Douglas said.

“Fortunately, a nurse was passing by … [and] noticed that it appeared that the man had … [an] issue with severe bleeding. She did apply a tourniquet,” Douglas said.

Cement truck driver needed to be extricated after crash

Fire department responders used a heavy rescue truck to stabilize the cement mixer and remove the man, who was taken to a local trauma center in critical condition.

DPS spokesman Bart Graves told KTAR News the driver suffered a severe leg injury but was expected to survive.

“He was wedged in between the cab of the vehicle and the actual cement wall,” Graves said.

The extrication took about 10-15 minutes, Douglas said.

“It definitely could have been the lifesaving tactic that she chose to do when she was able to apply that tourniquet. … This man’s going to be grateful for everything that she did, and so we’re hoping that he has a great outcome,” Douglas said.

What did the crash scene look like?

Images from Arizona Department of Transportation traffic cameras showed the truck on its side next to a broken barrier wall along the ramp. Cement appeared to be pouring from the back of the truck.

“We’ve not ruled out speed as a factor in this crash, and that will be part of the investigation,” Graves.

The ramp was closed after the crash, impeding traffic leaving the airport.

Graves said it was big operation to remove the cement mixer, requiring a heavy duty tow truck. DPS was hoping to have the ramp cleared by early Wednesday afternoon.

“The problem is that the wreckage to the concrete jersey barrier wall, the wall that separates traffic, was so severe that ADOT has to come in there and put a temporary barrier in. So that’s another reason the closure may last longer than expected,” he said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup and Nick Sadowski contributed to this report.

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Nurse stops to help, puts tourniquet on driver after cement truck crashes near Phoenix airport