Fire truck sideswipes Boise pickup



Posted on October 30, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 4:43 AM

BOISE -- Boise Police are investigating a collision this afternoon involving a Boise Fire Ladder Truck and a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.

The accident occured at the intersection of 16th and Grove Street at 12:40 p.m. Thursday.

When officers arrived on scene, witnesses, including firefighters and the driver of the pickup, told officers the ladder truck had just left Fire Station 5 at 212 S. 16th Street on an emergency call. When turning east onto Grove Street, the tail end of the fire truck swung wide and hit the driver’s side of the truck that was headed in the other direction.

The preliminary investigation shows the truck left the station with three crew members in the front cab but without the fourth crew member who sits in the rear, or tiller position on the truck. They were en route to a fire alarm at Adams Elementary School, which later proved to be false.

None of the firefighters or the driver of the truck, an adult male, was injured.

Traffic was restricted on Grove Street for about an hour as officers investigated.

Ladder Truck 5 received very minor damage in the collision and remains in service. Truck 5 is the only truck in the BFD's service to require a rear driver.  There was some damage to the driver's side of the pickup.

"That's a ladder truck, it's pretty long, so the tail of it, which has it's own steering mechanisms, just swung wide, a little too wide quite frankly," said Gary Duerr who was parked at a stop light when the fire truck hit him.

The investigation is still ongoing, but officers and Boise Fire officials say it appears the ladder truck may have been at fault, being driven without the rear driver.

“When there is any kind of collision involving a citizen’s vehicle and one of our fire apparatus, we take it very seriously,” said Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan. “In this case, most importantly, we’re thankful no one was hurt.”

In accordance with Boise City policy, both assigned drivers of the fire truck are currently being drug tested. Police officers investigating the accident say there was no indication drugs or alcohol were involved.