Charlotte Fire Chief: Mechanical Failure Caused Fire Apparatus Crash

The Charlotte Fire Department spent Tuesday inspecting 21 of its oldest trucks after determining that the suspension failed on one truck on Sunday, causing a crash that left a firefighter injured.

Firefighter William Ligon was hospitalized after the ladder truck he was driving overturned on Community House Road on the way to a call in Ballantyne. He had a non-life threatening hand injury and is expected to return to work.

The crash was caused by the failure of five spring hanger bolts, which connect the frame of the truck to the axle,  Fire Chief Jon Hannan told reporters.

On Sunday morning, Ligon and the other firefighters on Ladder 32 heard a pop, then felt the truck sag, Hannan said. The axle moved a few inches and the tire began rubbing against the wheel well, making it nearly impossible to steer the truck.

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