At least six people have been transported to the hospital after a rescue truck and a car collided, and police said the vehicle responsible for it all was fleeing from a police officer.
The crash occurred at North 23rd Avenue and Hood Street just after 3 p.m. According to officials, Rescue 17, carrying three paramedics, was traveling to a call when it was struck by a late model silver Infiniti.
Witnesses said the Infiniti may have ran a stop sign, resulting in the crash. “Guy eats the stop sign, rams right into the ambulance, flips the ambulance over, drags the car all the way over there,” said one witness.
The rescue truck would ultimately wind up on its side after striking a fire hydrant.
Officials said the driver of the Infiniti had just been stopped at a speed checkpoint in Hollywood, but prior to being confronted by an officer, the driver fled.
BSO Sheriff Scott Israel visited both the paramedics and the family members of the victims in the Infiniti at Memorial Regional Hospital. “I met with the firefighters, I met with the families. I believe one firefighter is gonna get released momentarily. The other two firefighters are gonna be looked at a little bit longer. We’re hoping they get released, if not today, get kept overnight,” he said.
As paramedics rushed to the rescue truck, the witness said he rushed to the Infiniti and did what he could to rescue those inside. “Listen, I ran over there trying to save the little girl first because that’s the only person I could actually get out,” he said. “I can’t grab … a grown woman? She looked like she’s like at least 140, 150 [pounds]. I’m dragging her out the car, I could hurt her.”
“The lady was all messed up. She was bleeding all here, all here,” one witness said as she pointed at her face. “They did pick her up, she was hollering, and one of the policeman said that her hip, they think her hip is broken.”
Other nearby residents came to the paramedics’ assistance to help the victims. “I had just seen a paramedic help try to break the guy out of the truck. I gave him my tools to break the window open,” one resident said.
There were a total of three people in the Infiniti. Most of the victims were rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital, while one person was taken to Broward Health Medical Center.
According to Israel, it appears the paramedics are going to be OK. “The injuries appear certainly to be non life-threatening, and again, if you look at pictures of the fire truck, they’re lucky to be in the condition that they are,” he said. “It could’ve been a lot worse.”
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