UPDATE: Fire truck driver ticketed in Illinois 1 crash that left 3 injured

UPDATE: Fire truck driver ticketed in Illinois 1 crash that left 3 injured

TILTON — Illinois state police have ticketed the driver of a fire truck that struck a minivan on Illinois 1 at Ross Lane in Tilton while rushing to a fire in downtown Westville.

State police said a 40-year-old volunteer firefighter, whose name they did not release, was driving the red 2007 International fire truck tanker and was issued a ticket for disobeying a traffic-control device.

The fire truck, which had one passenger, a 23-year-old male, was heading south on Illinois 1 toward Westville with its emergency lights and sirens activated when it went through a red light at the intersection with Ross Lane, striking a westbound 2013 red minivan driven by a 77-year-old Danville man who had the green light. The impact caused the fire truck to roll over.

All three people involved in the accident were wearing seat belts, and all three had to be extricated from their vehicles.

Police did not release the names of the fire truck passenger or the minivan driver but reported that they and the fire truck’s driver were all taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

More than a dozen fire departments from Vermilion and Champaign counties provided mutual assistance to the Westville Area Fire Protection District during the apartment fire in downtown Westville that was called in at 12:46 p.m. Monday. No one was injured in the blaze that totally destroyed the apartment building but was contained to that structure.

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Chazman wrote on February 13, 2018 at 11:02 am
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How does someone operating an emergency vehicle responding to a call with lights and sirens activated get a ticket for disobeying a traffic control device?  It would seem to me that if any tickets were issued, it would be to the driver of the minivan for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.  Or am I misunderstanding the situation here?

Knowledge wrote on February 13, 2018 at 11:02 am

An emergency vehicle with lights and siren activated still must drive with “due regard” for other vehicles and pedestrians. You may only proceed through a red light or stop sign after slowing and verifying all other vehicles have come to a stop and recognize your presence at the intersection. This obviously wasn’t done. 

Chazman wrote on February 13, 2018 at 2:02 pm
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Oh I see - I wasnt sure how that was technically supposed to work since I have seen emergency vehicles sometimes slow down and/or stop, while others don't.

Thewatcher wrote on February 13, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Knowledge is correct, running lights and sirens does not permit complete violation of traffic laws.  They must exercise caution and due regard.  In safe conditions, they are able to go through intersections without stopping, but they still must excercise caution.  It's a common misconception that emergency vehicles are exempt from traffic laws.

Kirsten wrote on February 13, 2018 at 12:02 pm

It sounds like both used less than perfect judgment. I hope the man's injuries are not too serious (non-life-threatening can still be pretty bad for an older person), and I hope the ticket is not too burdensome on the presumably well-meaning firefighter. A good reminder for all of us.

fuddrules wrote on February 13, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Probably moreso the 77-year old had no idea the fire truck was there and didn't hear or see it until it was too late.    

787 wrote on February 14, 2018 at 6:02 am

Why exactly is the State Police intentionally withholding the name of the 40 year old who caused this wreck?   Do we not have a right to know?

Is he also a policeman?  The son or relative of a policeman?

The State Police need to be open with the public, and the News-Gazette needs to be asking WHY is this person's name being intentionally withheld? 

Roanrider wrote on February 15, 2018 at 12:02 pm

They didn't release the name of the 23-year old passenger, or the 77-year old driver of the minivan, either. What exactly is your point???

GLG wrote on February 16, 2018 at 9:02 am

Ask Ed Pirano about running red lights while driving an Arrow Ambulance at over a hundred miles an hour on Springfield Avenue at Prospect in 1976 or 1977 killing, if I remember 2 people on his way to a minor accident near Bement IL.

Objective Reporter wrote on February 16, 2018 at 9:02 am

Well, that was unnecessary.

Reykjavik wrote on February 17, 2018 at 10:02 am

Ambulances, fire trucks, and even police routinely endanger the public with reckless driving. Running the sirens and hot pursuit can be sort of a macho thing, but it should be discouraged. These drivers need to weigh the benefits of saving a few minutes vs the risks. 

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