In responding to motor vehicle accidents, emergency responders often put their own safety at risk. A recent car accident about twenty miles away from Seattle on Interstate 5 underscored this fact when a man with a fire & rescue team was critically injured. He was taken to an area hospital, where his condition was listed as critical but stable.
Reportedly, the car accident happened near Kent during the early morning hours. A pickup truck was traveling on the interstate when it rolled over and came to rest on the left barrier. There were two occupants of the truck, but fortunately neither person received injuries.
However, as the firefighters from the South King Fire & Rescue team were responding to the accident, one of the firefighters was struck by a red Chevrolet Blazer. It appears that the driver of the Blazer lost control and skidded into the right shoulder, striking the firefighter and narrowly missing others. It is believed that foggy weather and possibly speed contributed to the accident.
The 52-year-old firefighter suffered serious injuries, including a collapsed lung and multiple fractures, and he was taken unconscious to Harborview Medical Center. He is currently recuperating as his wife and two sons keep watch. As he recovers, they may consider filing a civil claim for personal injury against the driver of the Blazer. When victims are injured in a car accident in the Seattle metropolitan area through no fault of their own, they do not deserve for their physical injury to become a financial injury as well. The man may be able to collect compensation for his medical expenses, lost wages, as well as his pain and suffering.
Source: The Seattle Post Intelligencer, “Firefighter struck by car after responding to accident on Interstate 5,” Andrew Castronovo, Nov. 20, 2011