12 Injured in Miami Fire Truck, Paramedic Truck Collision
A violent crash between a fire truck and a paramedic truck left 12 people injured in Miami, Florida, including two children and their grandmother. The fire truck was rushing to a blaze with four firefighters inside. The paramedic truck, with three firefighters inside, was heading to the hospital with the two young children and their grandmother. Both emergency vehicles had their lights flashing and sirens blaring, crossing paths near Miami’s hospital district. Neither vehicle stopped for the other, resulting in a collision at Northwest 12th Avenue and 14th street. The crash flipped the fire truck, injuring 12 people and sending mangled meta and glass shards pouring into the intersection.
The crash happened near the Jackson Memorial Hospital complex, as both vehicles, Rescue No. 25 and Engine No. 5 were rushing on separate calls. Both vehicles came from Station 5, 1200 NW 20th St.
Those injured included: seven Miami firefighters, the three passengers in the paramedic truck, and two people in a car clipped by the spinning wreckage. Melissa Perry, who was in a trolley and saw the fire truck pass and then heard a loud bang, stated, “It was complete chaos in the beginning..There were a lot of police and rescue trucks coming to help.”
“Oh, my God. It was the loudest thing I have ever heard,’’ said Sally Matson on Coral Gables, who witnessed the crash. “I thought it was a machine with grinding parts. I never heard a crash like that before.’’
Miami Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Pete Gomez said that luckily, the injuries were not life-threatening. The force of the crash was so strong that the fire truck spun 360 degrees, hit a curb and flipped on its side, Gomez said. The rescue truck’s front was sheared off, its windshield bashed in.“When you have a 40,000-pound truck flip on its side, and no one is seriously hurt, I’d say that’s a pretty lucky day,” Gomez stated. He credits the way the trucks are built and the safety mechanisms inside, including seat belts for each person, for preventing more serious injuries.
Miami police spokeswoman Frederica Burden said the department is investigating the cause of the crash and who was at fault.Gomez said the department’s policy is for the driver of an emergency vehicle to “follow the rules of the road.” Though they are allowed to go through red lights, drivers have to make sure the path is clear, Gomez said. He continued, it is up to the police department to determine who is at fault. In his 30-year career with the city of Miami, Gomez said he has never seen two emergency vehicles involved in a crash — and such a violent one. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “We are just happy it wasn’t worse.”