Two firefighters engaged in a rescue of a crashed driver near the I-264 and I-64 interchange in eastern Henrico County, Virginia (VA), sustained serious injuries when their pumper truck got rear-ended by a second car. The crash occurred early on the morning of January 19, 2015. The driver of the car that struck the fire engine died, but, according to television station WTVR-6, the emergency responders are expected to recover.
As the eyewitness video embedded above shows, the crash scene and rescue effort were clearly marked, Each of the emergency vehicles had their lights and flashers switched on. The second collision that injured the firefighters and took the life of the other driver should have been easy to avoid.
Sadly, highway wrecks that hurt and kill police officers, paramedics and tow truck operators happen quite often. Virginia enacted a so-called move over law to protect emergency responders about six years ago. That regulation, which has been strengthened and expanded more than once to incorporate construction workers and others, places drivers approaching crash scenes and construction zones under obligation to slow down or change lanes only helps when people follow it, however. The root of the problem may be that people lack respect for the lives and health of roadside workers.
Even if that is not the case, the deadly crash outside of Richmond illustrates that everyone behind the wheel of a car or truck should give emergency responders and road crews time and space to do their jobs.