Apparatus, EMS, Fire Department, News

Lufkin (TX) Police Officer Reprimanded for Accident with Fire Apparatus

A rookie officer will be written up after rear-ending a fire truck amid rainy conditions Wednesday on Frank Avenue.

Officer Zachary Klein was traveling westbound on Frank Avenue, following an ambulance to the hospital per request, when he got behind a fire truck responding to a one-vehicle accident under the overpass. The fire truck slowed approaching the scene to avoid debris in the road. Klein, who was traveling below the speed limit at 28 mph, hit his brakes, but skidded into the back of the truck amid rainy conditions at speeds of 15-20 mph. Because he was able to slow the vehicle, his airbag did not deploy.

“I applied the brakes but realized they were locking up and the vehicle was not slowing down because of the recent rain,” Klein said in a statement to Chief Gerald Williamson about the incident. “I released the brakes and attempted to apply the brakes again. I was unable to stop before striking the rear of the fire truck.”

No one was injured in the crash, which was investigated by Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Marc Slocum.

Per DPS policy, an officer involved in at-fault, on-duty crash is not ticketed when the officer’s employer takes disciplinary action. Lufkin Police Department has a progressive disciplinary policy that can compromise the officer’s employment status if additional at-fault crashes occur.

Because Klein is still in training, another at-fault crash could end his career with the department, according to Williamson.

For more information, view lufkindailynews.com