Fire Truck Crashes in Nebraska

The driver of the SUV was charged with driving under the influence and other violations.


LINCOLN, Neb. --

A Lincoln fire truck was in the middle of a crash on Friday morning as it rushed to respond to a call for service.

Capt. Bret Davis of the Lincoln Fire Department said it points out the problems emergency responders face when drivers don't pay attention.

On Friday, Lincoln firefighters were headed to a medical emergency when an SUV swerved to miss a vehicle trying to pull over for the truck, Davis said. The SUV hit the on-coming fire engine, then careened into another car.

"The guy wasn't paying attention, or didn't know what was going on," Davis said.

The crash happened near the crest of a bridge, so it may have been tough to see, but other drivers were pulling over, according to Sgt. Robert Kubicek of the Lincoln Police Department.

"At least some of the vehicles had seen the lights and heard the sirens," Kubicek said.

The driver of the SUV was arrested on suspicion of multiple violations, including negligent driving, DUI and driving on a revoked license.

No one was seriously hurt.

While crashes are rare, emergency responders said they see a lot of inattentive drivers.

"Any given day, we see multiple violations of people either, A: not yielding to emergency traffic or stopping exactly where they are, which is often in the middle of the traffic lanes," Kubicek said.

Drivers are supposed to slow down, pull over to the right and stop when they see emergency lights.

"They slam on their brakes, or they veer out of the way, and sometimes it makes the situation worse," Davis said.

Davis said his crews are aware of the potential for hazards and they go through defensive driving courses every year.