Motorcyclist Critical After Collision with Conn. Fire Truck

Aug. 08--NEW HAVEN -- A West Haven man is in critical but stable condition after his motorcycle and a city Fire Department truck collided at the intersection of Woolsey and James streets Thursday evening.

The motorcyclist was identified as Casper Amodio Jr., 53, of Brown Street, said police spokesman Officer David Hartman.

Engine 10 out of the Lombard Street station was responding to a medical call on Woolsey Street when it and the motorcycle collided at about 5:35 p.m., said Fire Chief Allyn Wright.

Police are in the process of reconstructing the accident, Hartman said. That will include the determination of the motorcycle's speed.

"Interviews with the firefighters indicated they didn't even see the motorcycle coming," Hartman said.

There was a long skid mark on the asphalt that lined up with the motorcycle's path of travel.

"We have nothing to indicate at all that the operator of the fire truck did anything wrong," Hartman said.

Hartman said in a later release that Amodio was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

"Witnesses at the scene reported the motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed," Hartman said in the release.

However, he said, "It should be noted that an individual's perception of speed is not always accurate."

The fire truck and motorcycle were still at the scene Friday evening. Amodio's sneakers were in front of the motorcycle that was partially under the truck.

Neighborhood resident Danielle Cornelius said she looked out of her second-story window when she heard the fire engine's sirens. The motorcycle was traveling down James Street from Chapel Street as the fire engine was making a left turn onto Woolsey Street.

Cornelius also said she did not see a helmet. Firefighters rushed out of their apparatus and aided Amodio.

"They were .. .doing CPR immediately," she said.

Amodio appeared to have severe injuries to his head and hip, she said.

The four Fire Department personnel weren't injured, Hartman said.

Wright also said the firefighters were OK, but shaken by the incident. They have been offered the city's Employee Assistance Program.

"This type of forensic investigation is very in-depth and can take weeks, if not months for any final conclusion to be realized," Hartman said in the release.

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