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Fire engine strikes home after multiple-vehicle crash in Stockton

Pickup truck driver hospitalized in crash with fire truck in Stockton
Pickup truck driver hospitalized in crash with fire truck in Stockton 03:50

STOCKTON – A fire engine has crashed into a home in Stockton on Wednesday morning.

The scene was near the intersection of West Lane and E. Alpine Avenue.

Stockton Fire says the incident happened just after 7 a.m. while they were responding to a structure fire and involved multiple vehicles.

Scene of the crash. Kendra Cross/Viewer photo

At some point during the incident, a crash happened – but it's unclear if the fire engine was part of the initial crash, or if it was struck as a result of a crash. Either way, the fire engine ended up hitting a home.

One of the other drivers involved suffered critical injuries, Stockon police say, while a passenger in another vehicle had minor injuries.

No one in the home or fire personnel were hurt in the incident, police say. 

Traffic was being re-routed around the area due to the crash investigation but has since reopened.

"He had his sirens on, and he was blaring as loud as you can blare," said David Krause who heard the crash and rode his bike over to see the commotion. "It sounded like he was honking at someone to get out of the way kind of."

Officer David Scott with the Stockton Police Department said Stockton Fire Engine 9 was on its way to a fire, heading northbound on West Lane when it collided in the intersection with a red sedan that was heading east bound on East Alpine Avenue.

Witnesses said the engine then went over the median into oncoming southbound traffic, striking the pickup truck and then the home on West Lane.

"We both ran over to the pickup and the pickup driver looked like he was slumped dead at the moment," said Krause.

The driver was pried from the truck and rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Another witness told CBS13 they saw the truck tumble multiple times before coming to a halt on its side.

The four firefighters who were in the fire engine that crashed jumped into action helping the other drivers as more first responders arrived on the scene.

"You could see stuff flying up in the air and you could hear his breaks," said Kerrie who works at the gas station across the street from the crash.

Kerrie was chatting with the homeowner of the home that got ran into when the crash happened.

"He really didn't say anything to me besides that's my house and he calmly walked across the street to his house," Kerrie said.

That coffee conversation likely saved that man's life.

"He even said if he hadn't been getting his coffee, he would have been inside of that room where the fire truck hit," said Krause.

It was a close call in the rare collision between first responders and two cars.

"We're usually the ones responding to the collision to assist," Scott said.

Traffic investigators are still working to determine why the driver did not hear or see the sirens from the engine blaring.

"I think people need to have their eyes and ears out more, especially sirens, to prevent this from happening, Krause said.

One man is still in critical condition. Everyone else involved in the crash, including the four firefighters, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The original call that the fire engine was responding to was handled by a different crew.

"That's why it's so important to not drive distracted or anything like that," said Scott. "Just be aware, especially when you see other cars slowing down at an intersection. Proceed with caution."

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