Virginia Fire Truck Accidents & Injuries: Why Emergency Vehicles Crash | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

This week, we are covering the tragic story of a Bloxom Volunteer Fire Company fire truck accident that left one volunteer fire fighter dead and another injured. The fatal fire truck accident occurred on Monday, July 16, when the vehicle was responding to an accident on Route 13 and lost control while negotiating a curve. The man killed in the wreck was 30-year-old David Chew Jr., a long-time medic, chaplain, and volunteer fire fighter in the area who left behind a wife and three-year-old son. 

Unfortunately, Virginia fire truck accidents and accidents involving emergency vehicles are far too common. In some cases, these accidents also can involve other cars and trucks that are struck by emergency vehicles rushing to the scene of another accident. What causes these accidents, and what steps can we take to prevent them in the future?

  • Lack of proper training. A recent study has found that a significant factor in emergency response vehicle accidents is a lack of mandatory, standardized training for the drivers of such vehicles. This particularly might be the case in smaller rural communities that rely on volunteers to respond to accidents and injuries.
  • Lack of on-the-job experience. Perhaps nothing can simulate the experience of speeding through traffic in a large vehicle to get help to people in danger, and perhaps the only way to learn how to rush safely to the scene of a traffic accident or other emergency is through practice. However, many emergency vehicle accidents take place simply because the driver did not have a significant amount of on-the-job experience.
  • Other drivers who don’t know how to respond to emergency vehicles. Do you know what to do when you hear an emergency siren and see the flash of fire truck or ambulance lights? Sadly, many people do not. Those who ignore the sirens or do not move out of an emergency vehicle’s way often are to blame for these collisions.
  • Other drivers who are distracted or inattentive. It’s difficult to hear or see an emergency vehicle or fire truck approaching if you are distracted by your cell phone, loud music, or other people in your car. Distracted drivers or drivers who aren’t paying attention to the road can easily cause accidents when emergency vehicles are speeding to the aid of others. 

Have you been involved in a Virginia fire truck accident, or an accident involving another type of emergency response vehicle? Speak with a VA personal injury attorney today to learn about your case and your rights as an injury victim.