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HomeLocal / Area NewsMANY WONDER WHY FIRE TRUCKS BLOCK THE HIGHWAY FOR ACCIDENTS- HERE'S WHY!!

MANY WONDER WHY FIRE TRUCKS BLOCK THE HIGHWAY FOR ACCIDENTS- HERE’S WHY!!

Three firefighters were injured, two people are in custody and the driver of a semi-truck is dead after three separate crashes in a matter of minutes Sunday morning.

Eastbound Highway 183 was shutdown between Beltline and Story Road in Irving and both directions of the service roads were also closed for several hours while authorities investigate. Westbound 183 opened up after just a few hours of being closed.

According to Irving police, a fire truck was stopped on Highway 183 blocking traffic as police waited for a tow truck to remove a pick-up involved in a drunk driving crash. The suspected drunk driver fled from his vehicle but was later found and arrested.

Police said the second part of the crash occurred when the driver of an 18-wheeler slammed into the back of the fire truck, causing the fire truck to spin 180-degrees and roll onto its side, injuring three firefighters in the process.

Irving Assistant Fire Chief Rusty Wilson says two of the firefighters were sitting on the front bumper and a third was standing in front of them. Two of them don’t remember the impact.

Wilson said firefighters at a nearby station heard the impact and explosion.

Two of the firefighters were released from Parkland before noon on Sunday and a third required more observation. Wilson described their injuries as bumps and bruises.

Police said the driver of the 18-wheeler, identified as 55-year-old Ilian Lalev, died at the scene. Investigators believe Lalev may have suffered from a medical condition prior to hitting the fire truck, but an official cause has not been released.

Irving Police say a third crash happened when a second suspected drunk driver hit a police vehicle that was blocking traffic and setting up road flares following the second crash. The officer wasn’t in the vehicle, but the driver was arrested.

Assistant Fire Chief Wilson says firefighters are at the mercy of other drivers when they’re on highways doing their job and that his department is not the first to deal with such issues.

“We can replace a truck, we can’t replace firefighters,” Wilson said.

Ladder trucks are used on many scenes now as almost a roadblock to protect first responders and law enforcement involved in investigating the crash.

 

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