San Francisco Fire Apparatus Has Second Crash at Same Intersection

Authorities said the San Francisco Fire Department ladder truck that collided with a car in the South of Market was the same rig involved in a crash at the same intersection in June.

The fire truck and Mercedes-Benz station wagon collided at Fifth and Howard streets about 10:20 a.m. Sunday.

The crash happened when the driver of the Mercedes, heading west on Howard, failed to yield to the lights and sirens of the ladder truck traveling north on Fifth, said police Lt. Julian Hill.

A fire captain on the truck was treated for a head laceration, said a Fire Department spokesperson. The driver of the Mercedes, a man whose name was withheld, complained of pain and was taken to a hospital before being released.

The two drivers of the ladder truck — one in the front, the other in the rear — were tested for drug and alcohol use under department policy, and neither showed signs of being under the influence of any substances, said the spokesperson

There were also no signs that the Mercedes driver was drunk, said Officer Albie Esparza, a Police Department spokesman.

The spot where the crash occurred is the same intersection where a firefighter suspected of being drunk struck a motorcyclist and left the scene June 29, authorities said.

The same ladder truck was involved in both crashes, authorities said. It is based at Station No. 1 at 935 Folsom St.

Authorities did not say Monday whether the ladder truck in the latest crash had a red or green light, but motorists by law are supposed to yield to emergency vehicles that have their lights and sirens activated.

Fire Department drivers who are responding with emergency lights flashing and sirens blaring must “control the intersection” before proceeding, meaning that they must either slow down or stop to ensure that it’s safe before continuing, Talmadge said.

The fire-truck driver in the June incident, Michael Quinn, allegedly ran a red light while responding to what turned out to be a false alarm and hit motorcyclist Jack Frazier, who suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung.

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