Three first responders seriously injured while assisting accident victim

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 ~ Updated 2:18 PM
A July 31 accident that seriously injured three first responders on Hwy. 175 near Hardy. Two victims were air lifted and one was taken by ambulance when responders were assisting a victim of a one vehicle accident. Two others were taken to the hospital in private vehicle for injuries in the accident.

Four Sharp County emergency workers were injured, three seriously while assisting with a motor vehicle accident July 31 on Highway 175 near Hardy.

According to Arkansas State Police Trooper Dustin Rogers, who worked the accident, Sharp County Deputy Shane Russell responded to a one vehicle accident near Baker cemetery Road and Highway 175 around 8:30 a.m.

John Shattuck, 49, of Hardy had ran off the road and hit a tree in the curve, when first responders from Martin Creek and Wirth Volunteer Fire Departments responded and were assisting Shattuck.

Russell, who was assisting in the accident witnessed a second vehicle driven by Carl Barlow, 73, come around the curve where the first accident occurred, cross the center line, run off the road, and hit four first responders at the scene before hitting the back of the Wirth Fire Department's brush truck.

Injured were Bernadette Freigy, 65, with the Wirth Volunteer Fire Department. Friegy, of Hardy, was transported by Spring River Paramedic Ambulance Service and later met by helicopter at Cave City where she was flown to The Med in Memphis for her injuries.

Katina Baggett, 52, of Hardy was flown by Air Evac to St. John's Medical Center in Springfield.

Clarence Baggett, 60, of Hardy was taken by ambulance to White River Medical Center.

The Baggetts were first responders with the Martin Creek Fire Department.

Also injured were the Martin Creek Fire Chief William James. He was transported by private vehicle as was Shattuck.

According to the Baggett's son Josh, Clearance Baggett underwent surgery July 31 to repair his foot. He also suffered a torn ACL and a fracture below his knee. Baggett is due for release on Aug. 3.

Katina Baggett suffered numerous broken bones, including both ankles, leg and fractured hips as well as a tear in her liver and facial lacerations. She is in the trauma unit and awaiting stabilization before her Aug. 2 scheduled surgery.

According to Freigy's husband Stu, Freigy remains in the trauma unit in Memphis, with numerous facial and head injuries. She is stable but awaiting results from a CT scan.

All four first responders were well off the highway at the time of the accident working with Shattuck when Barlow's vehicle hit them.

Barlow was cited for careless driving in the accident.

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