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  1. #1
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Default Palm Bay Ladder Co. in volved in accodent

    Luckily, no Brothers where reported injured....thank God....

    for more pictures, and a diagram of what happened, go to

    http://floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dl...49/1006/news01


    PALM BAY - Vince Hines stood in a convenience store picking out lunch when he and his co-workers heard a horrific crunch of metal and glass at one of the city's busiest intersections.

    What the 40-year-old saw when he ran outside left him sick.

    The noontime collision at Palm Bay Road and Hollywood Boulevard killed a 47-year-old woman driving a blue Ford Escort. A few feet away, a white Hyundai Tucson sport utility vehicle and a black Mercedes sat on either side of a gray 1999 Ford Taurus that had gone airborne before slamming into the side of a 8,000-pound Palm Bay Fire-Rescue ladder truck, barely missing a firefighter inside.

    "This is the worst accident I've ever seen. It all just happened in a matter of seconds," Hines said, looking on as firefighters and police officers examined the wreckage to sort out exactly what happened.

    The 25-year-old unidentified driver of the Ford Taurus, the car police said started the deadly chain reaction, was airlifted and in critical condition Thursday at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne.

    Killed was Michelle Jean Mallory, no address given, officials said. Three other people were taken by ambulance to the hospital. None of the firefighters on the ladder truck was injured.

    The deadly crash in a 45-mph zone quickly reminded residents about the dangers of increasingly congested roads in a city with 104,000 people. On one corner -- actually within the city limits of West Melbourne -- is a packed shopping plaza anchored by Wal-Mart.

    On two other corners of the busy intersection are gas stations, while less than a half-mile to the west is the Interstate 95 interchange and a car dealership.

    "It's an area with a high volume of traffic," said Doug Muldoon, assistant chief of the Palm Bay Police Department.

    Muldoon added the city works with the county -- which maintains the road -- and West Melbourne to constantly manage the flow of traffic at the intersection. In recent months the city has posted signs along stretches of Palm Bay Road informing motorists that they are driving in a high crash zone.

    Soon after Thursday's crash, Palm Bay police traffic homicide investigators focused on the speed of the Taurus as it headed west toward the intersection. Investigators also planned to test the blood of the Taurus driver to see whether alcohol or other intoxicants might have been a factor.

    "It was coming at a high rate of speed. The vehicles hit were stopped in traffic. According to the witnesses, the driver of the Taurus split the traffic," said Yvonne Martinez, spokeswoman for the Palm Bay Police Department.

    The impact happened as a Palm Bay Fire-Rescue ladder truck, which had the right of way, turned left off Hollywood Boulevard onto the eastbound lane of Palm Bay Road. One of the firefighters in the truck watched as the speeding car plowed into the Escort and went airborne, Martinez said.

    "The firefighter said he saw it coming, and he tried to move because he thought the Taurus was going to hit him," said Martinez, describing how the airborne Taurus hit just behind the passenger compartment of the fire truck.

    Within moments the shaken firefighters, fresh from a training session in Melbourne, jumped out of the engine to help the injured as motorists looked on.

    "They were victims and they had to turn around and help the people at the scene," Martinez said.

    Palm Bay Fire Chief Larry Hellmann also suffered a injury to his finger after helping to lift one of the traffic victims on an ambulance gurney, Martinez said.

    Debris, including a car battery and a muffler, was scattered across the intersection. About 50 people stood along the intersection, some covering their mouths in shock, as police and firefighters searched through the wreckage. The Escort was so mangled that paramedics were not able to determine how many victims were trapped inside.

    "Initially they thought that there could have been someone else in the car because they found a lot of baby items and toys inside," Martinez said.

    The Escort -- with the woman's body still encased in the jagged wreckage -- was covered with a red tarp and later hoisted onto the back of a tow truck and driven to another location where firefighters worked to remove the remains.

    Palm Bay police, some wearing florescent traffic vests, began diverting hundreds of motorists onto Hollywood Boulevard at the intersection and onto Dairy Road farther east. Despite the road blockage, traffic flowed smoothly as motorists learning about the accident avoided the area. Traffic remained blocked at the intersection about four hours.

    "They did a pretty good job," Muldoon said of his officers' response to the accident.

    Mike Gooch, who lives a few blocks away, was buying cigarettes at the Kangaroo gas station-convenience store at the southwest corner of Palm Bay Road and Hollywood.

    "There were three huge explosions," Gooch said. "I saw cars spinning in circles and when the (gray) car got hit, it went straight in the air."
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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  2. #2
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Question Huh?

    The Escort -- with the woman's body still encased in the jagged wreckage -- was covered with a red tarp and later hoisted onto the back of a tow truck and driven to another location where firefighters worked to remove the remains.
    This is a new one for me. I've never heard of a situation where a car was moved with the victim inside so that extrication could happen at a different location. Isn't this an odd practice? Why would it be neccessary?

  3. #3
    Forum Member dave29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis
    This is a new one for me. I've never heard of a situation where a car was moved with the victim inside so that extrication could happen at a different location. Isn't this an odd practice? Why would it be neccessary?
    Never heard of that being done, Glad the brothers wasnt hurt
    Firefighter for Vestal 32-2

    American Red Cross Volunteer

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis
    This is a new one for me. I've never heard of a situation where a car was moved with the victim inside so that extrication could happen at a different location. Isn't this an odd practice? Why would it be neccessary?

    Because you are picking pieces out of the car....look at the mechanism of injury and kinetics of trauma(Haha, i sound like an EMT-B Book), but honestly, she must have been pretty badly entangled...and look at what they said about the intersection, sounds like a HUGE busy one, meaning...picking a person in pieces out of a vehicle may not be a good idea.

  5. #5
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis
    This is a new one for me. I've never heard of a situation where a car was moved with the victim inside so that extrication could happen at a different location. Isn't this an odd practice? Why would it be neccessary?
    An accident of that magnitude will generate a lot of media coverage.
    In a situation like that, the vehicle will be moved to a more secure location to allow for the removal of the body without the glare of the media spotlight and to spare the family of the victim from seeing it.
    ‎"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."
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  6. #6
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    You are all correct. I know the intersection where it took place, one road is part of an off-ramp form I-95, and the other road is a MAJOR N-S route in the county.

    On a sadder note, it is a common practice to move the car to a secure location to extricate the victims........when I lost a good friend of mine, they moved her car before she was removed.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLSboy
    You are all correct. I know the intersection where it took place, one road is part of an off-ramp form I-95, and the other road is a MAJOR N-S route in the county.

    On a sadder note, it is a common practice to move the car to a secure location to extricate the victims........when I lost a good friend of mine, they moved her car before she was removed.

    I've never been to florida() but i guessed that is the reason. I am sorry to hear of your loss.

  8. #8
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Arrow Hrm.

    Interesting. We've shut down streets, we've raised sheets or salvage covers to block the view... But we've never moved a car with a victim in it -- ever.

    I guess this is why we're here... to learn how other places do the job.

  9. #9
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    BLSBoy--Sorry about your friend.

    I haven't ever heard of such a thing, either. I've always been taught and taught my guys that you treat a fatality the same as you would a patient. Remove them at the scene and you don't leave until everyone's out.

    Not that they're wrong for doing so, but I don't think I could. Leave a feeling of not getting the job completely done.

  10. #10
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    I have been on a few wrecks where they put the vehicle up onto a tow rig while the body was still inside.
    Usually due to the need for prolonged extrication to get the body out, no need to do it on a highway (safety, dignity of the deceased).
    Our truck companies have been called to a local wrecking yard hours later to cut the body out.

  11. #11
    DVFD kldugas412's Avatar
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    Unhappy BLS boy Sorry for your loss

    We also have gone to a secure location. For extrication of severe (entrapment) or a fire death in a vehicle. Where the Vic was pronounced “DOA”on arrival of EMS The reason given to us was to keep the media from showing Video or Pic's before notification of next of kin. Unfortunately we have had to do this more than once. This type of job can take a while as the coroner and PD take Pics before during and after. They can get pretty graphic. No ones needs to see them. We routinely try to keep rookies from doing this type of job if manpower is available. One asked me why he could not help? My answer was if you stay in this field long enough your time would come. There is no need to expose sights like that unnecessarily to anybody that has not seen it before. I guess I look at it as a dad protecting his boy’s. My Chief did it for me when I was just starting out.

    We also try to be as respectful of the victim as possible. We treat them as if we know the family personally.

    BLSboy I am also very sorry to hear of your loss.

    Stay safe,
    Last edited by kldugas412; 12-06-2006 at 03:13 PM.

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was illegal to take and publicize pictures of patients. At least I would think it would be without their consent (not that the media would care if it got them a story).

  13. #13
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was illegal to take and publicize pictures of patients. At least I would think it would be without their consent (not that the media would care if it got them a story).
    who did that in this thread? Also I have never done moved a vehicle to another lcoation but if I had to I would ........keeps the gawking to a minimum.
    BLS Boy sorry to hear of your friends passing.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1
    who did that in this thread? Also I have never done moved a vehicle to another lcoation but if I had to I would ........keeps the gawking to a minimum.
    BLS Boy sorry to hear of your friends passing.
    No one did it. I just keep reading it as a reason to move the vehicle to wherever to extricate a fatality to avoid the media. Not criticizing the action, by any means, it makes sense in some situations. I'd just feel weird doing it.

    On the other hand, going to where the tow truck took the body hours later I think is just disrespectful to the deceased (not to read the FD is disrespectful, as they likely can't get there until the towing company calls).

  15. #15
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitllesmertz1
    I have been on a few wrecks where they put the vehicle up onto a tow rig while the body was still inside. Usually due to the need for prolonged extrication to get the body out, no need to do it on a highway (safety, dignity of the deceased). Our truck companies have been called to a local wrecking yard hours later to cut the body out.
    So, loading a dead body still in the car onto a wrecker, hauling it through town, unloading it in the middle of a wrecker yard and then cutting them out is dignified to the deceased? Sorry. I don't buy it.

    Quote Originally Posted by kldugas412
    The reason given to us was to keep the media from showing Video or Pic's before notification of next of kin. Unfortunately we have had to do this more than once.
    I'm glad I live where I do. In the Little Rock market, there are four network affiliates that compete for news. I don't think any of them show video of deceased victims during the news. A body bag shot? Sure. But video of the deceased while on scene? That doesn't happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by kldugas412
    We routinely try to keep rookies from doing this type of job if manpower is available. One asked me why he could not help? My answer was if you stay in this field long enough your time would come
    I thought the dirty work was what rookies were for. :-D But seriously, I see no reason to shield members of the department from any of the work we do unless there is a specific and justified reason to do so.
    Last edited by cozmosis; 12-08-2006 at 12:45 PM.

  16. #16
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    It is done to open up the highways earlier. For some Depts, the towing companies respond in a timley fashion. It also is sometimes done in a secure location, not just a wrecking yard.


    BTW....we turned the tragic loss of a good friend of mine into a campaign to ensure that no more teens become victims....and it has had an affect so far
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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