Mike Wilbur

$5 Million Settlement In Firefighter Responding Crash

Last week, the Wenonah Fire Company (New Jersey, near Philly) agreed to a $4.5 million settlement of a lawsuit brought by a woman critically injured when her car was struck by a volunteer who ran a red light while responding to a call.

Melinda Baker of Mantua also will receive an additional $100,000 from the Firefighter, Richard J. Campbell Jr. In his ruling, Superior Court Judge Samuel Ragonese noted Baker’s “catastrophic and permanent injuries” and her “likely need for treatment and care into the future.”

Ms. Baker, then 56, suffered more than 14 fractures when FF Campbell’s Ford Focus smashed into the driver’s side of her compact car, a Dodge Neon, in January 2018. FF Campbell, whose car was equipped with flashing blue lights, was responding to a fire call when he ran a red light. The victim is now uses a wheelchair at home.

It was noted that the Firefighter “clearly went through a red light and though he was responding to a fire call, there is no protection (from) the duty imposed on all drivers to exercise due care.”

NEW JERSEY BLUE LIGHT LAW:  “Nothing contained herein is intended to grant to any member of the volunteer fire any privileges or exemptions denied to the drivers of other vehicles, and such members displaying emergency warning lights shall drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and shall obey all the traffic laws of this state”.

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