At 1:49pm yesterday (March 3, 2020) the Clinton Fire Department responded to 1904 Epicurean Drive for an incident involving a trench collapse with a male victim trapped. The trapped victim, identified as 58-year-old Tim Wainscott (of Montrose, Missouri) was attempting to install a sewer pipe in an eleven foot deep trench when a section of the trench wall gave way, causing him to become trapped. Co-workers on scene immediately began attempting to free Wainscott while waiting for emergency crews to arrive.
The responding crew of three personnel arrived on scene to find a large crowd of bystanders actively attempting to free Wainscott, buried in soil from mid-torso down. Emergency crews were able to communicate with Wainscott and establish that he was breathing fine and in no pain. Deputy Chief Matt Willings responded to the scene and upon arrival requested assistance from the nearest Trench Rescue team, Holden Fire and Rescue, to assist in rescue operations.
Rescue efforts immediately began to stabilize the trench walls to prevent further collapse. While preparing to begin shoring efforts, another section of the trench wall gave way and buried Wainscott to the top of his head. Wainscott was still able to speak to rescue workers and breath adequately even after the secondary collapse. Emergency shoring and rescue efforts commenced and rescue workers were able to remove the soil around Wainscotts head.
Utilizing several bystanders, shoring and stability of the trench was established. Emergency workers and bystanders worked together to begin to remove the dirt from around Wainscott. At 3:15pm, Holden Fire Department Trench Rescue Team arrived on scene. In a coordinated effort, additional shoring was put into place to ensure the stability of the trench as crews continued to dig deeper to free Wainscott.
A coordinated plan was established to lift Wainscott from the trench after he was freed. Utilizing Clinton Fire Departments new aerial platform, a harness was placed around Wainscott to lift him from the eleven foot deep trench. At 5:59pm, rescue workers were able to free Wainscott who was removed from the trench into EMS care.
Wainscott was conscious, breathing, and even joked a little after being removed from the trench. Golden Valley Hospital EMS staff took Wainscott to an awaiting air ambulance on scene where he was life-flighted to Research hospital for further evaluation. We are happy to announce that Wainscott is in stable condition at the time of this press release and may be able to return home today.
The Clinton Fire Department would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance: Clinton Police Department, Holden Fire Department, Golden Valley Memorial Hospital EMS, Pettis County EMS, Life-Flight Eagle, Evergy, Liberty Gas, Henry County Water Company, and Full-Line Lumber. Furthermore, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the numerous contractors and bystanders on scene that assisted with rescue efforts as needed.