Fla. Fire Rescue Truck Overturns in Crash, Five Hurt

March 14, 2013
Two Fort Lauderdale firefighters were among those hurt when the rescue truck they were using to take a patient to the hospital was broadsided at an intersection.

March 13--FORT LAUDERDALE -- Five people, including two Fort Lauderdale firefighters and patient they were rushing to the hospital, were injured Wednesday when their emergency vehicle flipped over on its side after being broadsided on Davie Boulevard, officials said.

The incident happened about 11:50 a.m. and shut down the intersection of Davie Boulevard and Southwest 15th Avenue for more than an hour.

"The impact was pretty severe," said Janet Catala, 41, who was stopped at the traffic light and watched the collision unfold before her eyes. "Lights and sirens were on, and everyone could hear them coming."

Rescue 47, eastbound for Broward Health Medical Center with the patient, apparently swerved as the northbound Volkswagen Passat approached from Southwest 15 Avenue, according to witness Ashley Better, 17.

The incident unfolded east of Interstate 95 and west of the Davie Boulevard Bridge

The ambulance teetered, then fell onto its left side and skidded about 40 yards north in the westbound lanes of Davie Boulevard, said Better.

"I was scared, shocked," said Better, a student at Stranahan High School who was crossing 15th Avenue.

Also taken to the hospital were the driver and one passenger in the Volkswagen.

Catala, 41, an off-duty emergency medical technician, said she ran to the overturned ambulance to help. There, one of the firefighters tossed her a pair of rubber gloves and asked her to check the occupants of the Volkswagen.

One of the two women was bleeding profusely from the nose.

"There was a lot of blood," she said of the scene inside the car. "She was saying she couldn't breath, and I was just telling her to stay calm."

Matt Little, a spokesman for the city of Fort Lauderdale, said none of the injuries was deemed critical. However, one firefighter and one of the women in the car were more seriously hurt than the others.

The crash in under investigation by Fort Lauderdale police.

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Copyright 2013 - Sun Sentinel

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