Houston Firefighters Recover After Wreck


Two firefighters and a cyclist remained hospitalized a day after two fire trucks collided in a Montrose-area intersection, KPRC Local 2 reported.

Eleven people, including nine firefighters, were injured in the collision at the intersection of Dunlavy Street and Westheimer Road on Monday morning.

A Houston Fire Department pumper truck weighing 42,000 pounds and traveling northbound on Dunlavy Street broadsided an 80,000-pound ladder truck traveling west on Westheimer Road with enough force to lift the ladder truck off the ground.

The ladder truck rolled, hit a woman on a bicycle, snapped a utility pole and landed on top of a car.

Five firefighters were on the ladder truck and four were on the pumper truck. They were all injured.

Capt. Michael Mayfield and engineer operator Ryan Edwards were in stable condition on Tuesday.

"We have two firefighters and they have several fractures to their arms and legs and ribs," Executive Assistant Chief Rick Flanagan said. "It's going to be a long period of recovery."

The other seven injured firefighters were all treated and released from hospitals.

The cyclist suffered critical injuries. The woman driving the car was able to crawl out. A passenger in the car was treated and released from Methodist Hospital.

"I hope all Houstonians will keep them in their thoughts and prayers -- the firefighters and civilians involved in this serious accident," Mayor Bill White said.

Investigators said the ladder truck was in the middle of the intersection attempting to make a turn when it was hit by the pumper truck.

Fire officials said there is an emergency signal on Westheimer Road that holds the light for emergency vehicles. Investigators are working to determine if the signal was used.

"Our units do have the emitters to operate the Opticoms," Flanagan said. "What the Opticom would do is give the person the right-of-way, or turn a red light to green, to give them access to go through the intersection and have a speedy response time."

The fire trucks were answering a call of an apartment fire in the 2100 block of San Felipe Street when the collision occurred. Fire officials said there ended up not being a fire at the complex. Both trucks had lights flashing and sirens blaring.

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