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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Think about this next time you are in Emergency Mode

    Driver: I never heard siren

    Driver: I never heard siren
    Her passenger was killed by a police car rushing to an emergency call

    By JORDAN CARLEO-EVANGELIST, Staff writer
    First published in print: Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    ALBANY -- The driver of a car hit broadside by a police cruiser late Friday said she had a green light "the whole time" and never heard a siren before the collision that left her 21-year-old friend dead.


    "There was nothing. It was dead quiet," said Melissa Escobar, 22, of Albany, speaking publicly for the first time since the wreck at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Quail Street. "I want the truth to go out."

    Escobar's 1992 Honda Civic collided with the cruiser driven by Officer Christopher Orth as Orth was eastbound on Madison Avenue toward the Addictions Care Center of Albany's detox facility on the campus of Capital District Psychiatric Center.

    Orth was responding to a call that came in around midnight for an intoxicated man threatening staff at the crisis center when his Dodge Charger patrol car broadsided Escobar's sedan as it headed south on Quail across Madison, fatally injuring passenger Jamar McGill.

    In a statement released Saturday, police said "preliminarily, it appears the officer was operating in emergency mode, with lights and sirens on."

    But Escobar said Tuesday that she and McGill -- both soft-spoken -- had the windows down, the air conditioner off and her iPod turned low as they discussed the future of their relationship.

    McGill, in the front passenger seat, looked down toward his lap as the car passed into the intersection -- perhaps putting his money back in his wallet, Escobar said.

    "He looked down, and I was just looking straight, and the radio was on very, very low, just faint enough so we could barely tell what song was playing," Escobar said. "As we went through the intersection, he looked out and he jumped and he yelled to me. All I saw was like bright white light and red and blue light flickering."

    Next came a thundering crash. Escobar said she doesn't remember anything else until her car came to a rest, McGill shoved toward her and was pinned "basically laying in my lap."

    "I just remember that I was screaming to him, and I was calling to him and he was unresponsive," she said. "His face was just like a dead stare. I just wanted to make sure he was OK."

    The pair -- who had known each other for about a year after being introduced by their respective exes -- had only been out about 10 to 15 minutes, Escobar said. She described McGill as "my best-friend-to-significant-other."

    They were on there way back from a Quail Street store where McGill liked to buy cigarettes to her apartment off New Scotland Avenue, she said. They had been at her apartment earlier.

    "We didn't have any red lights," Escobar said of the trip down Quail toward Madison. "We were just coasting along at like 25 (mph). As we went into the intersection, there was nothing."

    City police have declined to speak in detail about the crash, citing an ongoing reconstruction of the wreck by State Police and an inquiry by internal departmental investigators in the Office of Professional Standards.


  2. #2
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    That Police Officer is GUILTY. He needs to be strung up by his nuts and left hung out to dry.

    In addition, the Civilian is just as guilty for not slowing down as she went through the green light.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  3. #3
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    I pod turned low. Driving with ear pieces or head phones is against the law in NY. Something is not right with this story.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    You must be mistaken.Everyone obeys the law. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 08-19-2009 at 10:32 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rescuedawg View Post
    I pod turned low. Driving with ear pieces or head phones is against the law in NY. Something is not right with this story.
    For what it's worth, and not that it really makes a difference, it is entirely possible to play music from an ipod through the car's speakers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    That Police Officer is GUILTY. He needs to be strung up by his nuts and left hung out to dry.

    In addition, the Civilian is just as guilty for not slowing down as she went through the green light.
    easy you are starting to sound like someone else.....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmagette View Post
    easy you are starting to sound like someone else.....

    One must learn the nuances of the fine art of sarcasm...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  8. #8
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    One must learn the nuances of the fine art of sarcasm...
    ..........................
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  9. #9
    Forum Member sweetpete's Avatar
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    Red face

    Sarcasm is getting increasingly difficult to understand on these boards. One man's sarcasm is another man's heartfelt opinion.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Think about this next time you are in Emergency Mode
    Think about what? That an accident happened, where we don't know the factual circumstances.... Ok.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  11. #11
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Think about what? That an accident happened, where we don't know the factual circumstances.... Ok.
    There you go, convoluting his nonsense with facts again. Geez.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  12. #12
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    We've all experienced it for ourselves: emergency vehicles travelling at speeds faster than approximately 50 mph have a tendency to "over-run" the sound of any audio warning devices.

    I typically drive with the windows down and even with that it is very difficult to impossible to hear a siren if the approaching unit is moving at the higher speeds.

    On first look (according to the above report) it would appear that no one was "at fault". She reports having a green light, the cruiser appeared to be running with appropriate warning devices activated, but perhaps at a speed for which the sound is slower than the vehicle. The potential problem is whether the LEO slowed down (as is regulated in most areas) because of the red light to his line of travel.

    I can only wish a full recovery to Ms Escobar, the police officer and sadness for the loss of a friend.

  13. #13
    Forum Member SoloBlitz's Avatar
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    I've found if you respond in "Semi-Emergency" or even "Non-Emergency" Mode it's twice as safe..

    Best wishes to those involved..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Think about what? That an accident happened, where we don't know the factual circumstances.... Ok.
    The fact that the driver of the car didn't hear the siren.

    Just becuase you can see the lights and hear the siren don't assume others can. When passing through an intersection on a red light you should slow enough to assure there is no oncoming traffic and that all vehicles will stop and GIVE you the right of way.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    We've all experienced it for ourselves: emergency vehicles travelling at speeds faster than approximately 50 mph have a tendency to "over-run" the sound of any audio warning devices.

    I typically drive with the windows down and even with that it is very difficult to impossible to hear a siren if the approaching unit is moving at the higher speeds.

    On first look (according to the above report) it would appear that no one was "at fault". She reports having a green light, the cruiser appeared to be running with appropriate warning devices activated, but perhaps at a speed for which the sound is slower than the vehicle. The potential problem is whether the LEO slowed down (as is regulated in most areas) because of the red light to his line of travel.

    I can only wish a full recovery to Ms Escobar, the police officer and sadness for the loss of a friend.
    We have this thing about driving with due regard and you don't take the right of way, it is given. Many seem to forget that part of it.

  16. #16
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    Default Think about this:

    Quote Originally Posted by TimesUnion
    They were on there way back from a Quail Street store where McGill liked to buy cigarettes to her apartment off New Scotland Avenue, she said.
    Another way that cigarettes can kill.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  17. #17
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    Driving with anything over your ears is dangerous as hell.

    But remember, you can plug the Ipod into a lot of devices that put the sound through the car speakers.

    Best to wait until the facts come out. One thing is that this collision should be relatively easy to reconstruct.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    We have this thing about driving with due regard and you don't take the right of way, it is given. Many seem to forget that part of it.
    x2... I 'come to a stop' at redlight intersections (sometimes barely rolling) as I check each direction before I make the decision to actually proceed through the intersection. It's saved me several times including a time when I was running a CPR in progress patient to the hospital. I had just slowed to a near stop when my light turned green again.. since I was in 'red light' mode I was scanning to see who was moving towards me and happened to catch a car trying to beat his light (and he was no where near catching it)... he sailed right in front of us while we sat. I can't even fathom what would have happened if I had just continued through that intersection.

    Stay safe out there guys!

  19. #19
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    The fact that the driver of the car didn't hear the siren.

    Just becuase you can see the lights and hear the siren don't assume others can. When passing through an intersection on a red light you should slow enough to assure there is no oncoming traffic and that all vehicles will stop and GIVE you the right of way.
    Your "Fact" is based on the 1 drivers statement. Could very well be that the LEO would also state as "fact" that he had the green light.

    Travelling through stop lights/signs without stopping and clearing the intersection may be common in your area....it is not in mine.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  20. #20
    Forum Member yjbrody's Avatar
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    Default another option...

    I know that in our area fire and police will often without sirens during late or early quiet hours (however, never through a red light if that is indeed a fact).

    I consider myself always alert for brothers in emergency vehicles, but had the crap scared out of me for just this reason.

    I had the right of way going the speed limit and couldn't see the emergency vehicle because of a blind corner, and yeilded as soon as I saw them, but not before driving right in front of them. No siren, no airhorn, nothing. But believe me, they let me have it with the airhorn afterwords though. Don't blame them though. Proly would have done the same if the roles were switched.

    Like others have said, it's hard to tell without all the facts.

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