Harford firefighter dies in crash

December 17, 1990|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Evening Sun Staff

A Harford County firefighter was fatally injured when a fire engine responding to a medical call struck a car at Five Forks and overturned, State Police said today.

Four other firefighters and the driver of the car were injured in the accident, which occurred shortly after 9 o'clock last night at Md. 24 and Md. 136, between Pylesville and Fawn Grove, Pa., police said.

Thomas Hicks, 44, of Pylesville, who had been riding on the back of the fire engine, was trapped under the vehicle when it turned over, police said. He died of multiple injuries at the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore about two hours after the crash.

One of the injured firefighters, Erwin Cook, 48, of Pylesville, was flown to the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore, where he was listed in stable condition today.

Two other firefighters, identified as Cletus Heaps, 55, of Pylesville, the driver of the fire engine, and Richard Brooks, 33, of White Hall, who was riding on the vehicle's rear platform, were taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Towson, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

Another firefighter, Beverly Leftwich, 37, of Fawn Grove, was taken to Fallston General Hospital, treated and released.

Police identified the driver of the car as David Brode Jr., 19, of Fallston. He refused treatment at the scene.

Officials said the fire engine was from the Pylesville substation of the Citizen Volunteer Fire Company in Fawn Grove. The Fawn Grove ambulance had received a medical call to Archer Road between Five Forks and Whiteford, and the Pylesville engine was responding also. A spokeswoman for the Harford County Fire Bureau said the units routinely back up each other in calls across state lines.

Police said the fire engine was eastbound on Md. 136 when the driver apparently failed to slow down or stop at a stop sign at Md. 24.

The fire engine, which had its lights and its siren on, entered the intersection and struck a Camaro traveling south on Md. 24, police said.

Police said the fire engine rode onto the car's hood and turned on the passenger side, trapping Hicks.

Police said the accident remained under investigation today and charges were pending.

A State Police sergeant said troopers were to reconstruct the accident today to determine who was at fault and if any traffic safety procedures might not have been followed by the driver of the fire engine.

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