Fire officials consider changes after crashes into their trucks

4 firefighters injured while tending to stalled vehicle Sunday

By Jerry Askin

ORLANDO - Following a crash on I-4 when a speeding car ran into a parked firetruck, Orlando fire officials are considering closing freeways more often for their safety, while at the same time reminding people about the "move over" law.

“The health and safety of our firefighters is paramount,” said Hezedean Smith, assistant chief of the Orlando Fire Department. “This cannot continue. We have to do something about it.”

The crash occurred near Orange Blossom Trail when authorities said a car was speeding and ran right into a parked firetruck that was tending to a stalled vehicle.

The car was mangled after the crash.

“We don’t want to hit those guys,” said Pierre Vargas, a driver. “Those guys are here to help.”

Four firefighters, who were in the fire engine and were pushed about 10 feet, are recovering and are expected to return to work by Tuesday.

A similar crash happened in December when three firefighters were hurt responding to a minor crash on State Road 408.

On Sunday, someone also ran into an Ocoee fire truck on State Road 429.

“Slow down, pay attention and allow us to go home safely,” Smith said.

Smith said when the department responds to a scene on a high-speed Interstate, they’ll now have an extra firetruck in place before other trucks arrive, angled to make sure drivers know first responders are working ahead.
 

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