On Sunday morning, a string of crashes minutes apart left three firefighters
injured, two drivers arrested on suspicion of
DWI, and one driver of a semi-truck dead.
After the three back-to-back crashes occurred, eastbound Texas Highway
183 was closed between Belt Line Road and Story Road for hours as authorities
The chaos began when a firetruck stopped on Highway 183 was blocking traffic
as the police waited for a tow truck to remove a pickup that was in a
drunk driving crash. The drunk driving suspect ran from his vehicle and
fled the scene, but was later arrested, according to Irving police.
As the firetruck was parked at the scene of the drunk driving crash, a
semi-truck slammed into the back of the firetruck, spun 180-degrees and
came to rest on its side, injuring three firefighters.
Irving Assistant Chief Rusty Wilson said that he got the call that morning
that no chief ever wants to get.
Wilson said that two firefighters were sitting on the front bumper and
a third was standing in front of the truck. Two of the firefighters don’t
recall the impact,
NBC 5 reports.
According to Wilson, the impact and explosion was so loud that firefighters
at a nearby station heard it.
Wilson was surprised that the injuries weren’t more serious. He said
that firefighters were evidently thrown for quite a distance. Wilson described
the injuries as bumps and bruises.
Irving police said that the driver of the 18-wheeler was identified as
I. Lalev, 55. Lalev died at the scene and investigators believe that he
may have suffered from a medical condition before hitting the firetruck,
but the authorities have not released an official cause.
The third crash occurred when a second suspected drunk driver crashed into
a police vehicle that was blocking traffic as police set up road flares.
The officer wasn’t in the vehicle at the time of impact, but the
driver was arrested on suspicion of DWI.
Chief Wilson noted that firefighters are in danger when they’re on
the highways doing their jobs and he said that his department is not the
first to deal with this issue.
Wilson said that they can replace a truck, but they can’t replace
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