No doubt, everyone knows that first responders put their lives at risk every day when working at accident scenes and the like. Not only are they regularly dealing with crashed vehicles, fires and other dangerous substances, but they are also often doing their job while at the side of a road, which exposes them to passing traffic. In such situations, a terrible accident can become an even worse tragedy, and unfortunately, that is what happened when a firefighter died and three other first responders were injured after a vehicle struck them while they were investigating a crash.
First responders struck by passing vehicle
The horrific incident happened very early on a recent Saturday morning on I-76. Reportedly, firefighters from the Belmont Hills Fire Company and Gladwyne Fire Company, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police had responded to a crash in the westbound lanes. Police have said they arrived after the firefighters and found them blocking a lane and the shoulder. The first responders were just about finished working the scene when a woman driving past crashed into a state trooper, three firefighters and one of the cars involved in the original crash.
Firefighter dies; 3 others injured
One of the struck firefighters went into cardiac arrest at the scene; he was transported to a hospital for treatment, but sadly, he died later that day. The other two struck firefighters both underwent surgery at a Philadelphia medical center, and the state trooper was taken to a different hospital for treatment of injuries. The conditions of the three injured victims have not been disclosed.
Investigators are continuing to look into this incident, but they believe the driver who caused it had been trying to avoid the original accident scene by driving on the shoulder. Police have said she has been arrested and charged with homicide by vehicle. Aside from any criminal charges the driver now faces, she could be held accountable within the Pennsylvania civil justice system. The deceased victim’s family and/or any seriously injured victims may want to consider their options for legal recourse. An attorney experienced in such cases can help them choose the best route moving forward.