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Ejected driver rescued by patrolling officer - abc27 WHTM

York County

Ejected driver rescued by patrolling officer

Posted: Updated:
Officer Dennis Brillhart Officer Dennis Brillhart
SPRING GROVE, Pa. (WHTM) -

Southwestern Regional Police are commending one of their officers for rescuing an ejected driver from a late-night crash scene.

Around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, Officer Dennis Brillhart of the Southwestern Regional Police was patrolling in North Codorus Township when he spotted a faint light in a distant field by a small stream.

When the light did not move, Officer Brillhart ventured into the field on foot. He saw some sporadic vehicle tracks in the ground, as well as scattered clothing items and various objects from a vehicle including a child's car seat.

As he approached the light, Officer Brillhart realized it was a single headlight from a vehicle. It was nose-down in the stream. He reached the vehicle and called out to see if there were any occupants but received no response.

He heard a rustling in the leaves and found the driver of the vehicle laying against a tree on a very steep bank of the stream. The driver, later identified as 28-year-old Douglas D. Morris of Hanover, was unconscious and bleeding from the head. He is currently listed in serious condition at York Hospital.

Officer Brillhart reported that much of Morris' clothing had been torn when he was ejected from the vehicle, which was concerning because of the below-freezing temperatures.

Medics were summoned, as well as the North Codorus Township Fire Department. During this time, Officer Brillhart answered a ringing cell phone in the damaged vehicle. It was a friend looking for Morris. Officer Brillhart was able to deduce that Morris was the sole occupant of the vehicle at the time of the crash. He then called a family member and told them about the crash.

The fire department was able to remove Morris from the undergrowth and transported him to York Hospital. Morris is currently being cared for in the Intensive Care Unit of York Hospital.

An investigation determined that Morris was traveling westbound on Salem Road in Spring Grove near the intersection of Joseph Road. The vehicle crossed into the eastbound lane of traffic, struck a guardrail on the opposite side of the road, and left the roadway on the south side.

At that point the vehicle, a 1996 Jeep Cherokee, slid on its side or was potentially airborne, and Morris was ejected from the vehicle. It has not yet been determined how long Morris was laying in the underbrush.

The investigation is still ongoing.

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