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1 injured in crash with firetruck, pickup and car

By Celeste Tholen Rosenlof and Andrew Adams, | Posted - Oct 23rd, 2013 @ 6:23pm

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MAGNA — One man is in serious condition after a crash involving a truck, a car and a firetruck.

Around 8:15 Wednesday morning, a northbound Unified Fire Authority firetruck responding to a large pallet fire was approaching Highway 201 on 8000 West with its lights and sirens blaring. As it merged into the southbound lanes to get around stopped northbound traffic, a northbound Ford F-150 pickup truck began making a U-turn in front of the firetruck. The firetruck struck the side of the pickup truck, then the F-150 collided with a southbound tan Saturn that had pulled over for the emergency vehicle, Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said.

"If I hadn't have been in a seat belt, my head would have been in the glass there," said Unified Fire Authority Capt. Matt Burchett. "Faster than anyone could even say anything, this vehicle turned in front of us."

The driver of the pickup truck, a male in his mid-30s, was transported via ambulance to Intermountain Medical Center in serious condition. The occupants of the Saturn and the firetruck were uninjured, Hoyal said.

Unified Fire Battalion Chief Clint Mecham reminded to drivers to keep their distance and stay alert anywhere close to emergency scenes.

"Our bubble has to be bigger because of our reduced response time and maneuverability," Mecham said. "But you're always on the lookout and you're always concerned about trying to anticipate the unanticipated."

The firefighters were buckled up, which kept them safe, Mecham said.

"Because of that large window and how our crews are positioned in these apparatus, they could have been catapulted through that windshield very, very easily and right into the middle of the accident," he said.

Unified police were on the scene conducting an investigation of the crash, during which 8000 West was closed. The firefighters ran a couple 1,000-foot water lines across the highway while it was closed to help them fight the fire. The highway reopened a couple hours later.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, and it is unsure if the driver of the pickup truck will face charges.


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