The Phoenix Fire Department truck that smashed into an SUV in a central-Phoenix intersection last summer ran a red light without coming to a complete stop — a violation of department policy — but the driver who was spun through the intersection had smoked marijuana the night before, according to Phoenix police investigative records released this week.
A police spokesman could not immediately say whether there were any pending citations against either the SUV driver or the firefighter behind the wheel of the 16-ton Phoenix fire engine that ended up on its side following the collision.
According to police records, a 27-year-old man was driving to work at about 3:20 a.m. Aug. 16 when he saw a Phoenix fire truck out of the corner of his eye as the engine approached the intersection of Seventh Street and Indian School Road, according to police records.
The next thing the SUV’s driver remembered was waking up in the hospital, the records said.
Surveillance footage showed that the light was yellow for the SUV driver’s southbound traffic as he approached the intersection. The fire truck, headed east through a red light on Indian School Road, struck the Ford Explorer as it traveled through the intersection, according to the report.
Phoenix Fire Department policy requires firetrucks to come to a complete stop at red lights and account for all directions of traffic before going through an intersection.
Detectives estimated the firetruck was going 43 mph when it hit the front passenger door of the Ford and lost control, jumping up onto the sidewalk and eventually skidding on its side before coming to a stop.
Police documents released Tuesday revealed that the driver of the SUV admitted to smoking marijuana and having a few drinks the day before, even though his Breathalyzer tests came back with no reading at the scene, according to the report. After undergoing treatment for his non-life-threatening injuries and a blood test at Banner Good Samaritan hospital, the results read positive for traces of THC, the metabolite compound found in marijuana.
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