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Man, 87, hospitalized after getting pinned by vehicle

SOMERSWORTH - An 87-year-old man became stuck under a car along Central Street before a neighbor noticed him and called for help Wednesday afternoon.

Police, firefighters and emergency personnel responded at 12:59 p.m. after receiving the call from 13 Central St.

"We don't really know how he got there," fire Capt. Marc Vaillancourt said, adding the man was trapped under a mid-size Dodge.

"It appears he may have been trapped under it for about 45 minutes," Vaillancourt said, adding firefighters from Somersworth and Dover used "medium-sized" airbags to slowly lift the car to free the man.

Vaillancourt said they used airbags because they could monitor the status of the patient while firefighters used blocks to support the vehicle and keep it in place as a precaution in case the system failed.

"It's the easiest way to lift a car," Vaillancourt said, adding it took about 30 minutes to free the man.

Vaillancourt said ambulance crews from American Medical Response transported the man to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover. He added that firefighters had not heard an update on the man's status as he was still being evaluated.

Vaillancourt said firefighters cleared the scene at 1:36 p.m.

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John Quinn may be reached at


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