Traffic accidents caused by large semi and tractor-trailer rigs are fairly commonplace on Maryland’s roadways. But crashes involving fire and rescue vehicles can also occur and have similar and possibly tragic results. As a Maryland injury lawyer and commercial truck accident attorney, I see reports of motorists injured as a result of these kinds of wrecks fairly often in the Baltimore area and around our state.
As recent a news article pointed out, the potential for injury or death from a trucking accident can impact the lives of both drivers and passengers traveling in smaller motor vehicles. These individuals are most vulnerable, as are pedestrians, when caught in crashes involving big rigs and delivery trucks. According to reports, witnesses stated that a Calvert County fire engine hit another Anne Arundel County ladder truck while apparently on the way to an emergency call.
The collision, which reports described as a side-swiping accident, also affected two passenger cars when the Calvert County truck sideswiped the Anne Arundel ladder truck on a Sunday afternoon in Galesville, Maryland.
Witnesses to the accident claimed that the driver of the Calvert County fire engine hit the West Annapolis-based Tower 40 and then continued on without offering assistance. The accident occurred just after 4pm, according to Anne Arundel police, at the intersection of Muddy Creek and Owensville roads. At the time of the article, police said that a 24-year-old volunteer with the Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department in northern Calvert County was at fault in the wreck.
Although no body was seriously injured in the crash, the incident resulted in putting the Anne Arundel ladder truck out of service for the rest of the day and caused damage to two private vehicles. One driver of the two smaller vehicles that were hit reportedly took himself to the hospital for observation.
According to police reports, James Russel Carey Jr., a firefighter who started driving fire department vehicles in 1993, was driving Tower 40 south on Muddy Creek Road through the intersection of Owensville Road on a green light. While crossing the intersection, the county ladder truck was struck by an eastbound fire engine manned by the driver and four other Dunkirk volunteer firefighters.
The impact forced the county fire engine into a car and an SUV that had stopped in the northbound lanes of Muddy Creek Road to allow the approaching emergency vehicles to pass. Based on news accounts, the driver of a 2001 Lexus was waiting to see which fire vehicle would go first. The driver, 43-year-old Carlesa Williams of Laurel, MD, was coming home from church when the fire truck hit her vehicle.
A second motorist, Gilbert Hall Jr. of West River, reportedly took himself to Anne Arundel Medical Center in Parole following the crash. Hall said he “started to stiffen up,” and so decided to go to the hospital on his own. Both Hall’s and Williams’ vehicles were seriously damaged by the accident. Apparently none of the injuries were life-threatening.
Witnesses: Calvert fire engine hit county ladder truck and left, HometownAnnapolis.com, February 17, 2010