Virginia firefighters are urging drivers to move over and slow down while passing emergency scenes following a recent crash involving a box truck and an apparatus
“I lose sleep every time,” Henrico County Division Fire Chief Alec Oughton told WRIC-TV. “I think about it every time one of our units goes out on the interstate and I worry about the men and women that serve this community — and worry about whether people are going to pay attention.”
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On Aug. 14, a box truck struck a Henrico fire apparatus that was responding to a tractor-trailer fire along Interstate 295. Firefighter Mike Sullivan, a 15-year veteran, was on the apparatus when it was hit.
“I didn’t know that it was coming," Sullivan told WRIC. My captain was driving me at the time. He blurted out, ‘We’re gonna hit,’ and I looked over and said ‘What?‘ And it happened just like that
“And we both checked to make sure we were OK, and our concern immediately went to the driver of the box truck, which kept going down into the woods.”
In January, a Henrico fire apparatus responding to an I-295 traffic accident was struck by another vehicle, injuring its driver. In February, a Lakeside Volunteer Rescue Squad ambulance in Henrico County was involved in a crash with another vehicle, injuring a medic and a civilian.
“We’re reminded of how fragile lives are and how risky working on the interstate is,” Oughton told WRIC.