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Los Angeles

12 Hurt in 2 Crashes With Fire Vehicles

January 18, 2003|Wendy Thermos | Times Staff Writer

A fire truck and ambulance, racing to separate emergency calls Friday in Los Angeles, were involved in collisions involving a total of five cars. Twelve people were injured, one seriously.

"We don't have accidents that often, but to have two in one day is really unusual," said Fire Department spokesman Bob Collis.

The extension ladder truck and ambulance both had flashing lights and sirens on, he said.

The truck was headed to the Miracle Mile, where someone had reported seeing smoke, when it was involved in a crash with four cars at 10:45 a.m. at 6th Street and Curson Avenue.

A person in one of the cars was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Three firefighters and two others were treated for minor injuries, Collis said.

At 2:30 p.m., an ambulance responding to a drug-overdose call collided with a car at East Olympic Boulevard and South Soto Street, southeast of downtown. A paramedic suffered a fractured arm, and a second crew member was bruised by an airbag, Collis said. Four women in the car were treated for minor injuries.

Collis said Fire Department vehicles are involved in two or three crashes a year, but he knew of no other case of two crashes in a single day. The Fire Department responds to between 900 and 1,100 calls in a typical 24-hour period, he said.

"The fact is, we have a lot of apparatus running around at any one time. For the number of runs we have, the accidents are a very small percentage."

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