Senate recognizes LSUHSC-Shreveport for rescue efforts

L-R: Brian A. Crawford, Shreveport Fire Chief; Judy Williams; Michael Williams; Dr. Robert Barish; Sen. B.L. "Buddy" Shaw. Senate resolution honoring Michael Williams, whose car was crushed by a church steeple in Shreveport tornado in fall 2009. Shreveport Fire Department rescue and LSUHC-S for his medical care, with special mention of the Level 1 Trauma Center. (photo by Joe Hischer)

Baton Rouge – May. 6, 2010 – A resolution authored by Shreveport State Senator Buddy Shaw recognized Wednesday members of the LSU Health Sciences at Shreveport Level I Trauma team and the Shreveport Fire Department for their efforts to rescue and treat Shreveporter Michael Williams.

Senator Shaw’s resolution accounted the course of events as such.

On Thursday, October 29, 2009, a violent thunderstorm ripped through Northwest Louisiana, spawning several tornadoes and causing widespread damage.  In the middle of that afternoon a large tornado moved through downtown Shreveport and caused the steeple of the United Methodist Church to come crashing to the ground.

Mr. Williams, well known a freelance graphic designer, whose work has earned him numerous awards, was unfortunate enough to be driving through the intersection under the church steeple when it fell.

After hearing a loud explosion and momentarily losing consciousness, Mr. Williams awoke to find himself trapped under his dashboard and steering wheel and suffering numerous injuries, including an amputated finger, broken wrist, broken vertebrae, broken sternum, nerve and tissue damage in his legs, and a gash in his skull.

Trapped in the crushed car Mr. Williams began to fear for his life, but was relieved when he heard the sirens from the Shreveport Fire Department.  Firefighters arrived on the scene and, because of extensive damage to Mr. Williams’ car, feared he might be dead.  As they began work to free Mr. Williams from the crushed automobile, he raised his head and asked the firefighters to get him out of the wreckage.

Firefighters immediately shifted the operation from an extrication to that of lifesaving.  For nearly an hour firefighters worked to free Mr. Williams from the car, and continuously talked and comforted him throughout the ordeal.

Although too weary and injured to respond, Mr. Williams gave the firefighters a thumbs up when he was removed from his crushed vehicle and loaded into the ambulance.

Emergency Medical Service personnel transported Mr. Williams to LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport where members of the Level 1 Trauma Team were ready, taking over his treatment with equal commitment and incredible care.

Derek Daniel
Coordinator of Public Relations
LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport
(318) 675-5408