Ritchie VFD engine hit by reckless Beltway driver at crash scene

Beltway crash into Ritchie VFD 1989 Seagrave. PGFD photo

Beltway crash into Ritchie VFD 1989 Seagrave. PGFD photo

(Special from PG Fire) Oct. 20, 2015— Several units from the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department were alerted to a motor vehicle crash on the Capital Beltway Inner Loop in the area of Ritchie Marlboro Road in Capitol Heights on last Thursday night. 

Ritchie VFD engine hit by van. Photo by Ritchie Vol Fire Department

Ritchie VFD engine hit by van. Photo by Ritchie Vol Fire Department

Units arrived on the scene and were checking what appeared to be a relatively minor crash with one person requiring transportation to a hospital. 

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An engine from the Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department was parked in a barrier position on the beltway, when they were struck from behind about 11 PM.  They had just arrived at the scene of the original crash where a rescue squad and ambulance were already working.  The original accident scene resulted in the transport of one person with a minor injury.

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It is standard procedure for a heavy-duty piece of fire apparatus to position themselves across as many lanes of traffic as possible to protect personnel and civilians operating at the scene of an incident on roadways.  The barrier protection has proven to save lives on several occasions in Prince George’s County.

With the engine positioned for barrier protection 2 of the 5 firefighters dismounted to determine whether any additional hands would be needed on the incident. Just after they dismounted, a van struck the rear end of the engine.

The crash resulted in the driver of the van being trapped and significant damage to the rear of the fire engine.  Crews already on the scene from the original crash were used to extricate the van driver.  The adult male was the driver and lone occupant of the van.  He sustained critical injuries and once extricated was transported by medics to a Trauma Center.  The adult male remains in critical and stable condition.

The three members on the engine were transported to a local hospital suffering minor injuries.  All were treated and released.

The Ritchie engine, a 1989 Seagrave, will be inspected today to see if it can be repaired.  A new fire engine if purchased today carries a price of somewhere between $600,000 up to $800,000.

Photo Credit – Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department

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