Witnesses Say Concrete Truck Driver Tried to Beat Emergency Vehicle
An outrageous crash involving a fire truck, a cement mixer and a pickup truck sent four firefighters and the pickup truck driver to the hospital. Naturally, the driver who caused the collision was not injured.
The collision occurred yesterday at the intersection of Hatcher Street and Second Avenue in South Dallas.
Dallas Fire Department Ladder Truck 24 was on its way to a building fire. The emergency vehicle had its lights flashing and siren blaring as it sped northeast along Hatcher Street to reach the fire. Witnesses say that the cement mixer was stopped at the intersection waiting to turn left. The cement mixer driver suddenly turned into the path of the fire truck. Unable to stop, the fire truck plowed into the cement mixer, knocking it onto its side and onto a pickup truck. The front end of the pickup truck was crushed between the cement mixer’s cab and drum. Just a matter of inches meant the occupants of the pickup truck did not sustain potentially fatal injuries had the drum landed on the cab of the pickup instead.
Texas Law Requires You to Yield to Emergency Vehicles
The crash was entirely preventable — and violated the law, not to mention common sense. Fortunately no one was seriously injured, which is lucky since fire engines and concrete trucks weigh up to 40 tons. Because
of their large size and heavy weight, fire trucks require more distance
and time to brake and they tend to cause catastrophic damage when they
do hit another vehicle. In this accident, the momentum and power were
enough to knock over a cement mixer. Had you been racing through the
intersection in your much smaller car instead, the consequences would
likely have been much worse.
Texas Statute 545.156 requires a driver to yield to emergency vehicles, including fire engines, ambulances and police cars. The law states that:
(a) on the immediate approach of an authorized
emergency vehicle using audible and visual signals or of a police
vehicle lawfully using only an audible signal, an operator, unless
otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:
1) Yield the right of way;
Immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of an intersection;
3) Stop and remain standing until the authorized vehicle has passed.
This law is in place for your
protection as well as to allow first responders to do their jobs. After all, the fire engine in the South Dallas crash never reached the fire,
meaning precious minutes were lost while another fire truck was
Bill Berenson is board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Schedule your free auto accident claim assessment by calling toll free
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