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Posted on Sat, Feb 6, 2010 : 7:47 a.m.

Semi tractor-trailer crashes into fire truck in Van Buren Township

By Amalie Nash

A semi tractor-trailer crashed into a parked Van Buren Township fire truck on I-94 this morning, critically injuring the driver of the semi, Michigan State Police at the Metro South post said.

No firefighters were injured.

The crash occurred on eastbound I-94 near Rawsonville Road at about 3:34 a.m., and police are still on the scene as of 7:45 a.m.

A Van Buren fire truck was parked on the scene of a reported vehicle fire on I-94 near the Providence of Harbour Club Apartments when it was struck from behind by a semi-tractor trailer, according to the township fire department.

The fire truck was blocking the right shoulder and right travel lane of I-94 to direct traffic around the vehicle fire, a Van Buren Township Fire Department press release said.

Capt. Anthony Karver and firefighter Curtis Lunsford were in the truck, warming up from the frigid temperatures, when the semi struck the back of Engine 1, the release said. The semi was forced into the right-side ditch.

The driver of the semi was unresponsive and was trapped in the wreckage, the release said. Fire crews used specialized tools to free him from the semi 23 minutes after the crash, the release said. The driver was transferred to an awaiting Survival Flight helicopter and was flown to the University of Michigan Trauma Center.

A condition was not available this morning. Fire officials said he had numerous broken bones and serious cuts.

The man's name, age and hometown haven't been released. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, State Police Sgt. Al Neal said.

Eastbound I-94 is still partially blocked for clean-up, Neal said at 7:45 a.m.

The 2004 Pierce fire engine is preliminarily considered “totaled” due to severe damage to the truck’s waterway, chassis, equipment compartment, and equipment, the release said.



Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 3:28 p.m.

How bout instead of talking about it at all, everyone should pray for this man and his family. This is horrific. This is my sister's family and they can use all the prayers they can get.


Mon, Feb 8, 2010 : 4:34 a.m.

"It seems a little weird to park a vehicle in a traffic lane on a highway, to say the least. Had they run out of orange traffic cones and people waving flashlights? This situation seems preventable." Boy this is a very ignorant statement if I have ever seen one. Why is it that folks will not take the time to learn the laws and know what is going on? Fire trucks do not respond to just fire calls. They are Medical first responders also. Meaning that when you request help they are usually the first on scene to provide basic aid until Paramedics arrive and take you to the hospital. In Wayne County just about all the fire departments provide their own Paramedic services. Back on track now.... When there is ANY call on the highway whether it be an accident and or a vehicle fire or someone pulled over on the side of the road having a medical emergency, it is absolutely vital that the fire department protect that patient, and or its firefighters working in harms way. Yes the interstate is in harms way. Why? Because people like yourself choose to remain ignorant to the fact that anytime you see RED lights on a fire truck, or the RED and BLUE lights of police cars that you slow down, you move over and you allow them to do the work that they are doing without putting their lives in greater danger. A fire truck is a great deterrent. As you can tell by the pictures and this story, it done what it was suppose to do, it protected the fire fighters on the scene. Traffic cones and waving flashlights? WHAT? Maybe back in the 50's and 60s when cars moved at a snails pace!!! The situation was under full control of the Incident Commander(fire department, usually the highest ranking fire officer on the scene). The decision to block the right hand lane and the shoulder done its job of protecting Police officers, MSP and firefighters while they were checking on a car fire. Buckle up, move over, slow down and give them room. That is the law my friend and if you dont know that, then perhaps you should go back to SOS and retake your driving test. Not just you, but millions of other people. I really feel for this truck driver, but unfortunately he was at fault here...either driving too fast, failure to yield or had some sort of medical emergency or fell asleep. It WAS NOT THE FIRE DEPARTMENTS FAULT THAT THIS TRUCK DRIVER LOST CONTROL OF HIS RIG AND HIT A FIRE TRUCK!!!!


Sat, Feb 6, 2010 : 12:02 p.m.

Okay, I accept that, thanks for straightening me out.


Sat, Feb 6, 2010 : 11:32 a.m.

When crews from the various agencies need to work on scene, the fire truck is the barrier of choice to save lives. Don't speculate about what happened!! Sounds bad for the truck driver either way, but, there are many laws on the books about slowing down and passing emergency scenes. I wonder how many people would have been killed by a tractor trailer if it hadn't hit the fire truck first...?

Fat Bill

Sat, Feb 6, 2010 : 11:23 a.m.

ArgoC, I work on the highway every day. Fire apparatus routinely blocks the lane or shoulder the incident is in, plus the adjacent lane. You would not expect to stand right next to a burning car to try and put it out with cars and trucks zooming by. In addition, it's not like they parked a camoflauged, blacked out fire truck. This thing would have had its red lights firing away. At 3:34 in the morning, the semi driver should have been able to see the fire truck and move into another lane; the freeway is 3 or 4 lanes wide in the area. Most likely, the truck driver was not paying attention, half asleep or road-hypnotized...


Sat, Feb 6, 2010 : 11:10 a.m.

It seems a little weird to park a vehicle in a traffic lane on a highway, to say the least. Had they run out of orange traffic cones and people waving flashlights? This situation seems preventable.