4 firefighters in crash identified

Their truck struck SUV on weekend, killing three people

December 13, 2007|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,Sun reporter

The Baltimore Fire Department released yesterday the names of the four firefighters involved in a fatal accident that killed three people in a sport utility vehicle Sunday.

The driver of Truck 27 was Nathaniel D. Moore, 40, a firefighter and paramedic apprentice who joined the department three years ago, a department spokesman said.

Passengers on the truck were identified as Lt. Thomas Moore, a 33-year veteran, not related to the driver; Darryl Alexander, a 25-year veteran; and Kenneth Jacobs, a 13-year veteran.

The firefighters could not be reached for comment yesterday. But union leaders said the men were distraught over the accident.

"They were responding to a run to try to help someone, and to have this tragedy happen is devastating to them," said Richard G. Schluderberg, president of Baltimore Firefighters Local 734. "That's our sole purpose in the Fire Department. We're only there to help."

The firefighters were in one of at least two emergency vehicles headed to a call shortly after 3 a.m. in Northwest Baltimore to investigate a report of smoke in the hallway of an apartment building.

Their ladder truck collided with a sport utility vehicle occupied by Iryna Petrov, 49, her husband, Mikhail Petrov, 35, and a friend, Igor Saub, 24.

All three were pronounced dead shortly after the collision. The reported fire at the building was a pot of food found smoking on a stove.

Chief Kevin Cartwright, a city Fire Department spokesman, said police and fire investigators are conducting separate investigations of the incident, which occurred at Park Heights Avenue and Clarks Lane.

In Baltimore, all emergency vehicles responding to a scene are required to stop at traffic signals. Determining the actions of the firetruck driver and the driver of the sport utility vehicle, identified by police as Iryna Petrov, remains part of an investigation that is expected to take about a month to complete, city officials said.

Union officials said the four firefighters are expected to report to duty today after having been on leave since the accident. All suffered minor injuries.

City Fire Department statistics show that department drivers have been involved in 308 accidents this year.

Department drivers were determined to be at fault in 199 of the collisions, according to the statistics. There was no information about how many people suffered injuries.

Many of the accidents - 112 - involved paramedic vehicles that were not responding to calls, the statistics show.

Yesterday, a Fire Department vehicle had another collision, this time with a Maryland Transit Administration bus, sending two passengers to St. Agnes Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, fire officials said.

The incident occurred about 1 p.m., in the 2300 block of W. North Ave. As Truck 18 was turning down North Bentalou Street, authorities said, it struck the bumper of the bus as it was unloading passengers. The firetruck was headed to a report of a fire at Carver Vocational-Technical High School that turned out to be minor.

The firetruck appeared to have only a long scrape on its right rear side.

gus.sentementes@baltsun.com

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