Antioch SUV Driver Dies After Hitting Fire Truck
I’m Ed Smith, an Antioch personal injury lawyer. Late at night on March 31, the driver of an SUV died when he crashed into a fire department ladder truck parked along Highway 4 in response to an emergency. The ladder truck was there to assist at the scene of an additional accident and was parked behind another fire truck.
The car accident occurred on Friday at about 11:57 p.m. in an eastbound lane near Antioch between Loveridge and Somersville Roads, when the 47-year-old driver, an Antioch resident, collided with the back of the fire truck. The man in the SUV passed away at the scene as a result of the crash. According to a representative of the California Highway Patrol, three firefighters received minor injuries, and one of the firefighters was transported to a hospital for treatment. The cause of the accident remains under investigation at this time by the CHP, and it is unknown whether alcohol or drugs were involved.
Emergency Vehicles and Liability
Under California Vehicle Code 17001, if an employee of a public entity is negligent in the operation of a motor vehicle, the public entity is responsible for the damages. This includes fire trucks. When a fire truck is responding to a call, the truck must activate both its siren and lights. In addition, the operator of the vehicle must have a valid licence and, in the case of a fire truck, the license must be a firefighter class B license.
Generally, public emergency vehicular drivers, and hence the public entity, are exempted from liability if the accident happened during the course of their duty. If the accident happened when they were not actively engaged, the exemption ceases to exist. An experienced personal injury lawyer can tell you whether your accident falls within the exemption.
Emergency vehicles are still required to stop for school buses if the school bus has its lights flashing and the stop sign extended. In addition, even emergency vehicles can drive no faster than 55 mph or at the speed limit. Even though emergency vehicles are exempted from civil liability when responding to an emergency, there is no exception when returning from the emergency. The driver is also not exempt when it comes to criminal charges.
Non-emergency vehicular drivers are responsible to listen for and watch for emergency vehicles. When safe, it is important to ensure that the emergency vehicle has a clear path.
Antioch Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, an Antioch personal injury lawyer. If you, or a loved one has been injured in a collision caused by a negligent driver, call me at (925) 428-5220, or call my toll free number at (800) 404-4500 for free and friendly advice.
I have worked as a personal injury lawyer, serving the people of California, since 1982.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This group is restricted to attorneys who have obtained $1 million and multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients.
For more information on previous cases I resolved, please visit my Past Verdicts and Settlements page.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/blue-light-fire-blue-red-475402/