03/14/12 226 W - + 5 - 3 King Firefighter Recovering After Being Struck

Firehouse.com by way of WGHP-TV has posted details on Monday morning's firefighter accident. Lt. Les Collins of the King Fire Department was struck at the scene of a tractor-trailer accident on Highway 52 North. The 15-year veteran was walking to his department vehicle to leave the scene when a minivan crashed through the barricade. The van was traveling over 60 mph, struck the vehicle, and struck Lt. Collins.

He was knocked onto the windshield of the van. Both vehicles slid about 100 feet before coming to a rest. Lt. Collins reportedly saw the van coming through the barricade, but couldn't get away in time. Fire Chief Steven Roberson told WGHP that the firefighter is feeling much better, and is walking around. He was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, and sustained severe road rash, a bruised pelvis, and a broken pinky finger.

The driver of the van was charged with careless and reckless driving. Most interestingly, he told investigators that he thought the accident scene was a routine traffic stop. He also told them that he never saw the barricade. Great question implied there. How to make drivers uniform respect (or at least increasingly aware) of emergency vehicles, be they serving at a traffic stop or vehicle accident?  Read the Firehouse.com story, or read the WGHP-TV story.

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