Texas Firefighters, Paramedics Hit at Scene

Three firefighters and two medics were injured Sunday after they were hit by a vehicle while trying to help a victim of an earlier accident, authorities said.

The emergency workers were responding to an accident in west Fort Worth around 7 p.m. in which a vehicle traveling south on I-820 near Chapin Road hydroplaned, crossed a grassy median and smashed into a lamppost.

While emergency workers were trying to extricate the driver from the vehicle, a second vehicle hydroplaned at almost exactly the same spot, smashing sideways into the vehicle from the first accident and hitting the five emergency workers, police said.

"It's very strange to see the skid marks just a little off from each other," said Lt. Kent Worley, public information officer for the fire department.

One of the firefighters and the first driver were flown to Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital, Worley said. The two other firefighters were driven there, he said.

The two MedStar workers were sent to John Peter Smith Hospital and were in stable condition Sunday night, said Anna Lazarus, public information officer for MedStar.

The three firefighters, Capt. Donald Dean, 44, and firefighters Robert Woodle, 43, and Jeremy Torres, 24, were released by the hospital Sunday night, Worley said. None had any bruising or cuts, but they will be on leave for an undetermined amount of time, he said.

"They're going to be pretty sore for a while," Worley said.

The firefighter flown to the hospital wasn't transported by ground because he appeared less alert than the other emergency workers, Worley said.

The driver in the original accident was in critical condition Sunday night, said Sgt. Don Hanlon of the Traffic Investigation Unit. The driver of the second vehicle, a 19-year-old woman, was treated for minor injuries, Hanlon said.

Worley said the emergency workers had no time to respond when the second vehicle hydroplaned.

"One of the guys said all he heard was someone yell, 'Car,' " Worley said.