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2 women injured when car flips

Rich Lucas was fitting pipes at a construction site on U.S. 19 when he heard a bang. He looked up just in time to see a silver Honda Accord flip twice and come crashing toward him.

"I thought (the car) was going to roll on top of me," said Lucas, whose first reaction was to run for his life.

Instead, he tried to help save two people trapped inside the car.

"I yelled to my partner, Ivan, to call somebody," said Lucas, 40, of Weeki Wachee, who helped rescue Virginia Westmoreland, 52, of 9127 El Camino St., and Louise Hoyt Stevens, 66, of 9159 Colmart St., after their vehicle turned into the path of an oncoming car.

The women were airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. Westmoreland was in stable condition Monday night, sheriff's spokeswoman Deanna Dammer said.

Stevens, who suffered multiple internal injuries, was in critical condition at St. Joseph's Monday night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Witnesses said Edward T. Kehoe, 59, of 5235 Elwood Road, Spring Hill appeared dazed after his 1995 Crown Victoria and slammed into the passenger side of Westmoreland's 1995 Accord. He was treated at Columbia Regional Medical Center at Oak Hill and released.

"He didn't look hurt, but you never know," Lucas said. "He kept asking, "Are they all right?' "

Authorities said Kehoe was driving south on U.S. 19 when Westmoreland tried to turn left onto Brandy Drive, near Candlewick Plaza.

"(Kehoe) slammed on his brakes to try to veer off and miss her but couldn't do it," Dammer said.

The Accord was shoved nearly 100 feet before it flipped twice, landing upside down in a ditch. Cabinet refacing and home improvement samples littered the roadside. So did a beige, beaded moccasin and a pale blue Timber Pines model home center pass.

Lucas said he crawled through the back window of the overturned car and dragged Westmoreland onto the grass, where witnesses propped her head on a roll of paper towels.

"She kept trying to get up and was yelling for the other woman, "Louise. Louise,' " Lucas said.

Stevens, who was still wearing her seat belt, was unconscious and dangling upside down in the car, Lucas said.

A witness cut her free with a razor knife, and Lucas said he cradled Stevens' head inside the car until Spring Hill Fire and Rescue workers arrived a few minutes later.

"It's got to be a creepy feeling to be lying on the side of the road," said Terry Sessions, who works in Candlewick Plaza. She comforted Westmoreland until paramedics arrived.

"I kept patting her head and rubbing her hand. I felt so helpless," Sessions said.

No charges had been filed Monday night.

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