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Thread: Chicago Fire Lieutenant Killed; Firefighter Critical and 12 Others Injured in Collisi

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Chicago Fire Lieutenant Killed; Firefighter Critical and 12 Others Injured in Collisi

    Chicago Fire Lieutenant Killed; Firefighter Critical and 12 Others Injured in Collision

    DAVE J. IANNONE
    Firehouse.Com Senior Editor

    A veteran Chicago Fire Lieutenant was killed and a second firefighter listed in critical condition when a ladder truck responding to a false alarm on Saturday, Apr. 29 was broadsided by a truck that failed to yield the right-of-way at a four-way stop intersection, officials said. Twelve other people were injured, including three firefighters.

    Fire Lieutenant L. C. Merrell and Firefighter Rodney Sevier was ejected from their unit when it was broadsided by a landscape truck in an intersection, officials said.

    Merrell, the unit's officer, was pronounced dead a short time after being transported to Christ Hospital. Sevier was listed in fair condition Monday at the same hospital with multiple injuries, police said.

    A third firefighter was released from an area hospital Sunday and the two others were treated and released with minor injuries on Saturday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

    At least nine civlians were injured, none seriously.

    Merrell, 43, was an 18-year veteran who is survived by his wife and four children. Their ages were not immediately available early Sunday. He

    According to officials, Truck Company 24 was returning from a response when it was dispatched on an automatic alarm call shortly before Noon on the city's South Side.

    The unit had slowed down as it approached a four-way stop at the intersection of 107th and Throop Streets. The landscape truck went through a stop sign, and broadsided the responding unit on the front passenger side.

    "There's no criminal negligence, it's just a terrible accident," Sgt. Matthew Brown of the Chicago Police Department's Major Accident Investigation Unit told Firehouse.Com News early Sunday.

    The driver of the landscape truck, 56-year-old Isac Zepeda, was issued three traffic citations, including disobeying a stop sign, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and failure to properly wear a seat belt. More serious charges would not be filed in connection with Merrell's death, Brown said. Six people were travelling in the pickup truck, reports said.

    A third vehicle was also involved in the crash. Witnesses in that vehicle told the Chicago Sun-Times that the pickup truck ignored the stop sign.

    Officials said they did not know if the firefighters had been wearing the seat belts, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. City regulations require that emergency units have control of an intersection before going through.

    "The fire truck slowed down, but it was a four way stop and they had their emergency lights on," Brown said. "[The lights] are a request for a right-of-way to go through, not automatic, but in this case [the fire truck] was already in the middle of the intersection when [it] was [struck]."

    Grief counselors were called in to assist those who worked with Merrell and his crew deal with the tragedy. Firefighters were keeping vigil at Christ Hospital for those still hospitalized.

    Funeral and Related Information


    Visitation
    Friday, May 5
    Noon - 8 PM
    Leak & Sons Funeral Home
    7838 South Cottage Grove
    Chicago

    Funeral Service
    Saturday, May 6
    Visitation - 10 AM
    Funeral Service - 11 AM
    Metropolitan Community Church
    4100 S. King Drive
    Chicago

    Internment
    Lincoln Cemetary
    12300 South Kedzie Avenue

    http://www.firehouse.com/lodd/2000/chicago_apr29.html

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Merrell, L. C.

    Age: 43
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Status: Career
    Incident Date: 04/29/2000
    Incident Time: 11:52
    Death Date: 04/29/2000

    Cause of Death: Struck By/Contact with Object
    Nature of Death: Internal Trauma
    Emergency Duty: Yes
    Duty Type: Responding/Returning from Alarm
    Activity Type: Riding Vehicle/Apparatus
    Fixed Prop. Use: Street/Road

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Chicago Fire Department
    121 North LaSalle Street
    Room 105
    Chicago, Illinois 60602
    Chief: James Joyce

    Final Summary:
    Lieutenant Merrell was in command of a truck company responding with lights and siren to a still alarm. Lieutenant Merrell was riding in the right front seat of the apparatus, and he was not wearing a seat belt. The truck entered a four-way stop intersection and was broadsided by a pickup truck that ran the stop sign. Lieutenant Merrell was thrown from the cab and struck the pavement. Immediate medical care was provided by other firefighters and medical personnel, but Lieutenant Merrell was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was listed as blunt head trauma. The truck company slowed prior to entering the intersection. Four other firefighters and nine civilians in two vehicles were injured. The still alarm turned out to be a false alarm. The Chicago Fire Department Commissioner was quoted as saying that Lieutenant Merrell could have survived the accident if he had been wearing a seat belt. The driver of the pickup was ticketed for speeding and failure to stop.


    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/application...l.cfm?p_id=699

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