HOUSTON- A local fire chief was among those injured just before 11 a.m. on Monday when two Houston Fire Department trucks collided at Westheimer and Dunlavy, injuring nine firefighters and two civilians.
HFD Assistant Fire Chief Tommy Dowdy confirmed that Montgomery Fire Chief Brian Edwards was driving HFD Engine 7, when it struck the rear passenger side of HFD Ladder 16, as both apparatus were heading for to the same location.
The impact turned the ladder truck on its side, striking a bicyclist and a utility pole before landing partially on top of an Infiniti sedan. The bicyclist was the most seriously injured of all 11 casualties. The car’s driver was treated and released from a Houston hospital.
Dowdy said seven of the firefighters were also treated and released, but Edwards and another firefighter remained hospitalized with “non-life threatening injuries.”
“(Edwards) has some broken bones – a femur, shoulder, and possibly some ribs,” Dowdy said.
Edwards was listed in good condition Monday night at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. HFD Capt. Mike Mayfield, also injured in the crash, was in stable condition at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston.
“It was bad,” Dowdy said. “It’s the first time in Houston that I know of.”
He said it remained unclear what role if any was played by the Opticom system, which gives emergency vehicles first priority by controlling traffic lights.
The crash is under investigation.
Both trucks were responding to a call that turned out to be a false alarm.