Saturday, Dec 7, 2013
Fire Truck vs. SUV Crash Reminds Drivers of Danger
MURPHYSBORO -- A crash involving a fire truck reminds emergency responders of the risks every time they go out on a call.
Officials are still investigating the accident that happened Thursday afternoon in Murphysboro at the intersection of Route 127 and Industrial Park Road near Jackson square.
It's a situation fire officials fear the most and say drivers need to watch out for. A fire truck responding to a call got caught in another emergency Thursday.
"We try hard to train to avoid this situations and unfortunately sometimes, things just do happen," said Murphysboro Pomona Somerset Fire Chief Bill Bateman.
Officials on scene say an SUV was crossing the intersection when a tanker truck, with its lights and sirens on, slammed into the side of the vehicle.
"That's one of my biggest fears when our calls goes out is that one our vehicles will be involved in an accident and today that came true," said Bateman.
Fire Chief Steve Swofford responded to rescue the driver from the SUV. "The tanker truck was up against her door, just enough for us to get in and cut her door off," he said.
That driver was taken to a nearby hospital with unknown injuries. The firefighter driving the truck was not hurt, but the 40,000 pound tanker is in need of major repairs.
"Our prayers certainly go out to the other individual in the car and our concerns, that's really our main concern right now, our equipment can be replaced, it can be repaired," insisted Bateman.
It's unclear who, if anyone, is at fault.
"Lights and siren do give us the right of way through an intersection but, that does not, you know, gives us just carte blanche to go through an intersection," explained Bateman.
Accidents do happen, but both chiefs hope everyone will be a little more cautious to try to prevent it from happening again.
"Always use caution when entering an intersection," said Swofford. "If you see an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens, go ahead and stop as soon, as safely as you can and yield to them."
We're told the driver of the vehicle the fire truck crashed into is from Ava, but her condition is unknown.
Fire officials say they're deeply saddened by the tragedy and hope she's able to recover.
The call the tanker was responding to was a barn fire off highway 149. A man had pulled his truck into the barn to load straw when the truck's exhaust sparked a fire. Officials say a chicken coop, two vehicles, and other farm equipment were lost in that fire but nobody was injured.
Wind: 14 MPH
Humidity: 67 %