Mike Wilbur


One person was transported to CaroMont Regional Medical Center following a crash involving a Gastonia fire truck Thursday morning.

Gastonia Fire Department’s Ladder 4 was headed to Interstate 85 south just before 10 a.m. to help clean up a diesel fuel spill from a tractor-trailer crash, from according to Deputy Fire Chief Mark Rutherford.

Ladder 4 was driving toward Franklin Boulevard on Armstrong Park Road when it briefly stopped at the intersection and attempted to cross the intersection. A silver Pontiac Gran Prix, head west on Franklin Boulevard, didn’t yield to the fire truck’s sirens and was t-boned by the truck.

The driver of the Pontiac was transported with non-life-threatening injuries, and no firefighters were injured.

Rutherford said the firefighters who operated Ladder 4 Thursday morning stopped at the intersection correctly before crossing. Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings, especially emergency vehicles, he said.

“I think we’re in a society now where everybody is focused on their little piece of the pie and going where they need to go,” Rutherford said. “All of a sudden you throw a 60,000-lbs. fire truck in an intersection they weren’t expecting. You think they would hear and see it.”

Both vehicles suffered serious damage. Rutherford said the truck’s transmission coolant line ruptured and the truck’s radiator was damaged during the crash.

“It’s going to be out of service for some time,” he said. “It’s not like we can run it over to Earl Tindol [Ford].”

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