Five Central County Fire & Rescue firefighters avoided serious injury after a pick-up truck on Interstate Highway 70 near the Spencer Rd. overpass struck their fire truck. The driver of the pick-up truck, O’Fallon resident Chad Zaiz, did not survive the accident.
The fire truck was on the scene responding to an earlier call from a driver suffering from an EMS emergency. “In addition to assisting with the medical emergency, our firefighters were there to ensure the safety of those involved in the situation,” explains CCFR Chief Russ Mason. “The truck was strategically placed on the highway with its lights on to warn drivers of the situation, and to provide a safe zone for police, paramedics and other emergency responders to take care of accident victims.”
All of the firefighters were inside the truck at the time of the crash. “Our firefighter/EMTs finished assisting the St. Charles County Ambulance team and were preparing for the ambulance to leave the scene when the fire truck was struck. All five firefighters were in their seats, and had their seat belts on,” says Mason.
Although the exact speed of the pick-up truck is still being investigated, the impact of the collision was forceful enough to lift and move the 78,000 pound fire truck.
After the crash, Captain Brad Peters determined that none of the firefighters were seriously hurt, and called for additional assistance. As a precaution all five firefighters were taken to the hospital for evaluation. Two of the firefighters sustained minor injuries, but are expected to fully recover.
The fire truck (CCFR ladder truck 9542) was severely damaged and will be out of service for an extended length of time. The Missouri Highway Patrol is conducting the full investigation of the crash.
For More Information Contact Assistant Chief Steve Brown at 636.262.9503