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Firefighters Injured in Collision With Other Vehicles

November 4, 2011, was a more dangerous day than most for firefighters in North Carolina (NC) and Virginia (VA). The emergency responders were not put at risk by flames, explosions or hazardous materials, however. In both South Gastonia, NC, and Virginia Beach, VA, firefighters were sent to hospitals following traffic accidents.

View a map of the intersection south of Gastonia, NC where a pickup truck hit a fire truck and injured two firefighters.

The North Carolina crash occurred at the rural intersection between Crowders Creek Road and York Highway. According to NC State Patrol officers, a pickup truck driver pulled out in front of fire truck as it was making a left-hand turn. Two of the firefighters required hospital treatment for crash-related injuries.

While no charges were immediately filed, if the findings from original investigation hold, the pickup driver could well be cited for failing to yield right of way to an emergency vehicle.

Hours after the North Carolina wreck, a fire crew responding to a transformer fire at 27th Street and Baltic Avenue collided with a car at 19th and Pacific. Four people in the car and three firefighters were hurt, with one of the civilians incurring serious injuries.

No details on the cause of the Virginia Beach crash have been released, but reports indicate that electric power and, therefore, street and traffic lights were out when the vehicles hit. It is unclear whether the fire truck had its lights and sirens going.

Firefighters risk their lives every day to protect others. As the recent traffic accidents involving fire trucks show, these essential emergency personnel also face risks on the road. Drivers should always give fire trucks plenty of space to operate and, when possible and safe, pull over and stop to let firefighters pass.

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