A driver travelling at a high rate of speed smashed into a Contra Costa Fire Department truck on eastbound Highway 4 at around 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning, police said.
The team of firefighters was already on the highway tending to another accident when a car rear-ended the truck, police said. The man driving the car told police e fell asleep at the wheel and is currently recovering of chest injuries.
The truck was part of two standard units that are dispatched to any accident—one to tend to the victims, and one to protect the scene.
Contra Costa County Fire Captain Eddie Gonzales told NBC Bay Area that the two-unit policy has been implemented because of previous accidents within the county where vehicles have struck personnel and equipment.
“It’s a standard practice now that on freeways we respond with two units; one to assess the accident and one to protect the scene,” Gonzales said. “It has prevented serious injury and possibly even the death of one of our firefighters, so the policy works. It kept our people safe.”
Gonzales is unsure of the exact monetary costs, but the truck is currently out of service with significant damage. No one was in the truck and the driver of the car is being tended to at an East Bay hospital.