The woman who was trapped in a tractor-trailer's sleeping cab when the truck rolled is recovering from non-life threatening injuries, said Lt. James Tracy of the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Cambridge.
At 8:37 a.m. Thursday, a tractor-trailer carrying a shipping container on its flat bed rolled over on Interstate 70 just across the Belmont County line into Guernsey County, injuring Umu Koroma, 18, of New Carrolton, Md. Koroma was inside the truck's sleeping cab when the accident occurred during snowy weather conditions. Her father, Allie Koroma, was driving and also received minor injuries. Both were taken to Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling for treatment via the Barnesville Volunteer Fire Department medic squad.
"The entrapment was due to damage to the truck more than her injuries," Tracy said. "It was a mess."
Tracy said a second tractor-trailer accident occurred not long after, causing that truck to jack-knife. No one was injured in that accident, but traffic was backed up for two hours until the interstate could be cleared. Both trucks' drivers were cited for failure to maintain control, he said.
"I always tell people if you lose control it's because you were driving too fast for the weather conditions," he said.
Meanwhile, temperatures were anticipated to drop into the single digits last night and this morning. The wind chill was forecast to hit as low as 15 degrees below zero. The National Weather Service warned that hypothermia and frostbite are possible if precautions are not taken during freezing temperatures. The wind chill advisory is in effect until noon today.
Dr. Chad Anderson, a Wheeling Hospital emergency room physician, said how quickly a person's skin freezes depends on the conditions. For example, frostbite can occur more quickly if moisture is involved. If water is involved, frostbite can occur in above-freezing temperatures. It is important to wear fabrics that wick moisture away from the body, such as wool, as cotton does not perform this action.
Those who must go outdoors are cautioned to dress appropriately. People who do not keep their extremities covered can face three types of exposure: frostnip, which causes skin discoloration and numbing; chilblain, which causes skin discoloration and some tissue damage; and frostbite, which is when skin and cells freeze causing tissue damage, necrosis and potential loss of fingers and toes.
"People should cover their exposed surfaces and minimize exposure," Anderson said, adding those who must go out into the cold should wear gloves, a hat and a scarf to cover their face.
Treatment for cold exposure includes removal from the cold and application of moist heat and warm water. Rubbing frozen extremities can lead to more tissue damage. Smoking and alcohol use also should be avoided because they cause blood vessels to narrow, which can reduce a person's ability to stay warm. Anderson said hypothermia is a decrease in the body's core temperature. He noted there often is no symptoms of the condition except for feeling cold and shivering.