ELLENVILLE, N.Y. -- The chief of the Ellenville Fire Department was hospitalized and issued a traffic ticket Sunday evening after striking another vehicle en route to an emergency call, injuring two people who also had to be hospitalized.
Ellenville Chief of Police Phil Mattracion said that Fire Chief Steven Krom was traveling northbound on U.S. Route 209 in Ellenville at approximately 7:30 p.m. while responding to a call. Krom, who had his emergency lights on, struck a sedan with his sport utility vehicle while crossing the intersection of U.S. Route 209 and Center Street.
Krom was operating a fire department vehicle and it is unclear if he had his siren on, said Mattracion. The speed at which Krom was traveling had also not yet been determined.
Mattracion said that Krom, as well both passengers in the car, were taken to Ellenville Hospital. Krom was conscious and alert at the scene, but complained of stomach pain. The two people in the car, a male driver male and an unidentified passenger, were described as being in their late teens or early 20's.
While the nature of the their injuries was not available Sunday night, Mattracion said he believed they were not life-threatening injuries.
Mattracion called it an unfortunate incident, but said even emergency officials need to be aware of a driver's right of way. The car Krom struck was passing through a green light.
"Nobody likes to see something like this happen," Mattracion said, "but we're held to the same standard as everyone else."
Assisting at the scene were members of the Ulster County Sheriff's Office and members of the Ellenville Fire and Rescue Squad. Authorities said it took approximately an hour and a half to clear the scene.
Copyright 2008 by The Daily Freeman.
Republished with permission of The Daily Freeman.