SWAMPSCOTT — The quick arrival of the Swampscott Fire and Police departments helped rescue a woman pinned beneath a Chevy Blazer following a collision with a van at Paradise Road and Norfolk Avenue yesterday afternoon.
There were no serious injuries, but when fire Lt. Bob Surette arrived, he said, "I saw two legs hanging out underneath the roof. ... It was weird to look at."
With the Blazer turned over on its side, Fernande Dejoie of Lynn was sitting more or less upright inside, but with her legs out the passenger window and pinned beneath the edge of the roof.
The accident happened, according to police Sgt. Tim Cassidy, when the driver of the Blazer, Jeremie Dejoie, 33, was crossing Paradise Road, with Fernande, his mother, also in the car. They collided with a van driven by Michelle Gabutti, 46, of Revere.
On impact, the Chevy careened into a snowbank and rolled over.
The firefighters, meanwhile, were nearby clearing snow from hydrants. By the time they arrived, Jeremie Dejoie had escaped from the overturned car.
"I could see her (Fernande) through the window," Surette said. "We kept her calm."
The firefighters put air bags beneath the vehicle to lift it.
"Then we pumped them up to get her free," Surette said. He was encouraged when Dejoie did not cry out in pain as the vehicle was lifted. He left no doubt, however, that the weight of the roof was on the woman, her legs pressed onto the asphalt.
After removing the windshield, Dejoie was extracted through it.
Fire Chief Kevin Breen estimated that the rescue took about 20 minutes.
"Everything went like it was supposed to," Surette said. "We got her out and carried her to a stretcher."
The Dejoies were taken to Salem Hospital. Gabutti, who at first refused an ambulance, began to feel aches and pains once the excitement subsided. She was taken to Union Hospital in Lynn.
The accident, which occurred around 4 p.m., remains under investigation, according to Cassidy.
Also participating in the rescue was fire Capt. Kevin Thompson and firefighters Tim Sweeney, Bill Hyde, Michael Bagnell and Anthony Barbuzzi.