The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

April 14, 2014

Athens Fire and Rescue engine truck involved in wreck on I-65

When an Athens firefighter responded to a wreck Monday he had no idea he would be involved in a wreck himself. 

The firefighter was inside a fire truck getting equipment when the vehicle was struck by a pickup truck, said Athens Fire and Rescue Chief Tony Kirk. No injuries were reported, according to state troopers.

The wreck occurred at 6:54 a.m. Monday on Interstate 65 at mile marker 347, four miles south of Athens near Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road.

Troopers said firefighters responded to a wreck involving a woman who had run off the road and into the median. A pickup truck driven my David Head, 25, of Madison was driving by the site when he collided with the fire truck, according to troopers.

Kirk said the fire engine sustained damage to the right front wheel, hub of the wheel, fender well, door and front bumper.

The 1988 fire engine is one of the oldest in the Athens fleet and used as a backup fire truck. Kirk said he plans to speak with Mayor Ronnie Marks about the cost of repairs versus the value of the equipment.

In the meantime, a tower truck will be relocated to Station 3.

Police Chief Floyd Johnson, who arrived on the scene after the fire truck was hit, said motorists need to slow down.

“It’s real dangerous,” Johnson said. “Slow down, take time and move over when you see an emergency vehicle.”

Kirk said Athens firefighters pulled over as far as they could while still remaining on the asphalt.

When Kirk received a call that one of the fire trucks had been hit, he froze.

“For a second I couldn’t speak,” Kirk said, adding he is relieved no one was injured. “It floored me.”

Kirk also said traffic travels too fast around emergency vehicles and motorists need to move over and slow down. He added emergency responders are out there fulfilling their duties, and a wreck could very easily injure one of those responders or worse.


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