A Missoula Fire Department type 1 fire engine hit a guardrail on Orange Street and smashed its front bumper and radiator, according to Fire Chief Jason Diehl.
The 2010 fire engine was the only vehicle involved in the wreck just south of the railroad underpass, and Red’s Towing pulled it away, he said. On Tuesday, he did not know whether the driver would be cited by the Missoula Police Department, and he said an internal review also would take place.
“I still have yet to really talk to the driver at any length about it,” Diehl said. “But we’re going to definitely investigate what the circumstances were and if it was preventable, or what we need to do on our end to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Missoula Police Sgt. Travis Welsh said the investigation is not yet complete.
The $420,000 engine was not totaled, and an estimate of the damage likely would be available by the end of the week, Diehl said. The fire department has two reserve engines, and he said it will run one of those trucks in the couple of weeks it will take to repair the broken one.
The wreck took place after a fire crew responded to a code on West Alder Street, Diehl said. Two firefighters went to St. Patrick Hospital in the back of the ambulance, and the engine captain was headed to St. Pat’s to pick up his crew.
The captain made a right onto Orange Street from Alder and headed toward the underpass, he said. He said an oncoming vehicle was crowding the centerline, and the captain tried to avoid a collision in the engine outfitted with $800 tires and snow chains.
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