Extricating trapped Meridian man proves challenging for firefighters

MERIDIAN, Idaho (KBOI) - Seeing the Subaru crushed by the logging truck it's hard to believe anyone survived that crash. However, firefighters were able to extricate the Meridian man, Jose Silva-Cuellar, out of the car.

Meridian fire crews say the extrication process was more challenging because of how the driver was positioned and how damaged the car was.

"In my opinion I thought it was a fatal," Captain Jason Rae said. "I thought we were going to have a fatal accident."

But firefighters say, amazingly, Silva-Cuellar was conscious and talking.

"It was very surprising for all of us," Rae said. "We've go on crashes all the time, there's a lot of traffic around here but one to this extent is pretty rare where the car is that destroyed."

Getting the Meridian man out of the car took over an hour.

"When a car's that damaged the whole dynamic, the whole vehicle changes so we have to get a little creative," Rae said.

In this particular crash, crews found cutters to be most helpful in removing the car from the victim.

"We removed all four doors, we removed some seats, we removed the steering wheel," Rae said. "Pretty much if we could remove it in the passenger compartment we did."

Crews used three sets of extrication equipment, from their truck and two engines, and were able to pull Silva-Cuellar out safely.

"The passenger compartment he was in, there was a minimal amount of space and he filled all of it," Rae said. "I don't know how he escaped with the injuries he did. Pretty lucky man."