Mike Wilbur

UPDATE: FLORIDA FIRE ENGINE RAN STOP LIGHT IN ROLLOVER CRASH

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com)  — The driver of the fire truck that overturned near Powerline Road and Palmetto Park Road ran a red light and was broadsided by an oncoming pickup truck that didn’t yield, according to the crash report just obtained by BocaNewsNow.com.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says Fire Rescue Driver Samuel Navarrete ran the red light on October 23rd while responding to a fire call. Multiple witnesses, including firefighters on the truck, a Delray Beach Police Detective in an unmarked car who happened to be in the area, and others confirm the police account.

As the Fire Truck drove through the red light and into the intersection, Philippe Pierre of North Lauderdale, driving a 2008 Toyota Tundra, approached from the truck’s left side — hitting its rear tire. The force caused the Fire Truck to capsize. While Pierre should have yielded to the fire truck, rescue personnel are still required to exercise care and caution when entering an intersection — even with lights and sirens active.

BocaNewsNow.com has learned that Palm Beach County “self insures” its fire trucks. The totaled truck is valued at $300,000.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Spokesperson Tara Cardoso has refused to comment on the crash since we started asking questions in the hours after the incident. Fire Rescue Administrator Reginald Duren has also not responded to requests for comment.

This is the complete text of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Report obtained by BocaNewsNow.com:

“Vehicle 1 (the fire truck) was traveling southbound on Powerline Rd. in the far right straight lane approaching the intersection of Palmetto Park Rd.; it should be noted that vehicle 1 is a Palm Beach County Fire Rescue engine #55 asset #10170627. Vehicle 2 (Toyota Tundra) was traveling westbound in the far right straight lane on Palmetto Park Rd. approaching Powerline Rd. It should be noted that vehicle 2 is a pickup truck. Vehicle 1 was en-route to a vehicle fire with its lights and sirens activated. As vehicle 1 went through the intersection, vehicle 2 hit vehicle 1 just in front of the driver-side rear tire. Vehicle 1 continued traveling southbound on Powerline Rd. Vehicle 1 overturned onto its passenger side and slid just south of Palmetto Rd. and Powerline Rd. to its final rest. Vehicle 2 shifted over to the center of the intersection to its final rest.

Driver 1 of the fire engine stated that he thinks that the southbound light on Powerline Rd. was red. Driver 1 stated that he was following a Palm Beach County Fire Rescue truck that just cleared the intersection. Driver 1 stated that his job is to clear the left side of the engine and did so when he traveled through the intersection. Driver 1 stated that he has head and back pain. Passenger 1 of the engine stated he also thinks that the southbound light on Powerline Rd. was red. Passenger 1 stated that he was putting on his equipment in preparation for the vehicle fire. Passenger 1 also stated that his job is to clear the right side of the engine, provide navigation for the driver, and any updates on the call they are responding to. Passenger 1 stated he cleared the right side of the engine when he traveled through the intersection. Passenger 2 stated that he did not see if the light was red because he was facing backward inside of the engine. Passenger 2 only remembers getting hit and the engine going on its side. Passenger 2 stated he has pain in his left heel.

Driver 2 of vehicle 2 (Toyota Tundra) stated that he was traveling west on Palmetto Rd. Driver 2 stated he was in the far right straight lane and had a green light. Driver 2 stated he did not see or hear the engine crossing through the intersection before impact. Driver 2 stated he has pain in his entire left arm and pain on the left side of his body.

Witness 1 stated that she was traveling eastbound on Palmetto Rd. Witness 1 stated she did not see the crash but; did hear the crash. Witness 1 stated that she was stuck in traffic and had a steady red light. It should be noted that witness 1 is a Delray Beach police detective.

I observed the functioning of the traffic control device at the intersection of east and west direction of travel of Powerline Rd. and Palmetto Rd. The eastbound traffic control device had a steady red while the westbound traffic control device on Palmetto Rd. had a steady green for the straight lanes and steady green left arrow.

Other contributing factors for driver 2 of vehicle 2 is failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.”

The Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts reports that no citations were recorded in relation to the event. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue has not responded to multiple requests for comment concerning policy and procedure for drivers involved in a wreck while responding to a call.

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