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Thread: Firefighter Hit, Killed By Fire Truck

  1. #1
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    Jan 2002

    Firefighter Hit, Killed By Fire Truck

    Firefighter Hit, Killed By Fire Truck
    Another Firefighter Injured In Accident

    POSTED: 8:56 a.m. EDT August 26, 2004
    UPDATED: 4:29 p.m. EDT August 26, 2004

    Story by

    RACCOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A local firefighter is dead after an accident at the Raccoon Township fire department.

    Authorities said David Vinisky, 49, was hit and killed by a fire truck.

    Firefighters were working on the truck when one of them got behind the wheel to back it into the garage.

    That's when the truck hit Vinisky and another firefighter, Jim Davidson, 53.

    Davidson was treated and released from a hospital.

    Officials said the fire truck makes a beeping noise when in reverse.

    That beeping noise was working at the time of the accident.

    Vinisky spent many years in Raccoon Township serving as a firefighter.

    He joined them in 1973, and is a third generation member of the department.

    Over the years he's served as the department's vice president, treasurer, auditor and assistant chief.

    When once asked why he joined, he replied to serve the township and carry on the family tradition.

  2. #2
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    Pennsylvania Firefighter Killed when Fire Truck Backs Over Him


    ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (AP) -- A driver who failed to see two firefighters behind a fire truck backed over them, killing one and sending the other to the hospital.

    Veteran firefighter David Vinisky, 49, of Raccoon Township, was pronounced dead shortly after he was hit by the fire truck Wednesday evening at the Beaver County township's fire station, said Beaver County Deputy Coroner Wayne Tatalovich Jr.

    The other firefighter, Jim Davidson, was treated at Aliquippa Community Hospital for cuts and bruises and released, said Raccoon police Sgt. Michael Anderson.

    Anderson said the person driving the pumper truck was trying to back it into the fire station's garage and did not see Vinisky nor Davidson.

    It was unclear what they were doing behind the truck or why they did not move as the truck neared them, Anderson said.

    Firefighters blocked off the area around the station and declined to comment.

    Raccoon Township is about 20 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

  3. #3
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    Pennsylvania Firefighter Loved All Aspects Of Job, His Brother Says

    Tom Fontaine

    RACCOON TWP. - David Vinisky grew up around firetrucks and firefighters. Approaching 50, Vinisky appeared to be as in love with them as ever.

    In fact, Vinisky was taking photographs of the shiny, month-old firetruck he helped the Raccoon Township Volunteer Fire Department purchase when he was killed, according to township police and the fire department.

    Vinisky, a 49-year-old Raccoon native and third-generation township firefighter, was killed and another firefighter was injured Wednesday evening when the firetruck backed over them in front of the department's Patterson Road station.

    Raccoon police Sgt. Michael Anderson said Vinisky and fellow township firefighter Jim Davidson, 52, had been photographing the department's new firetruck moments before the accident. The digital photos were to be posted on the department's online site.

    Anderson said while Vinisky and Davidson were standing behind the truck, township firefighter Frank Brocklebank, 40, climbed into the driver's seat of the truck, checked both side mirrors and, seeing no one behind him, started to back the truck into the station's bay garage.

    Anderson said the truck emitted a beeping sound as it began to roll in reverse.

    Within moments, however, the beeping noise was replaced with screaming.

    Anderson said Brocklebank quickly brought the truck to a halt when he heard Davidson screaming. Vinisky was pinned underneath the truck, Anderson said.

    Vinisky was pronounced dead a short time later by Beaver County Deputy Coroner Wayne Tatalovich Jr. Tatalovich said Vinisky died from head injuries.

    Davidson was treated and released from Aliquippa Community Hospital after suffering cuts and bruises. Brocklebank also went to the hospital to submit to a blood test for alcohol and drugs - Anderson said there were no traces of either in his system.

    Anderson said police are still investigating the accident.

    Vinisky was a lifelong resident of Raccoon Township. To some, it also seemed like he was a lifelong township firefighter.

    Fire Chief Bert Failor said Vinisky, whose father and grandfather were charter members of the department, began spending time at the fire station before he was old enough to walk.

    Vinisky's brother, Drew, a former Raccoon firefighter, said, "We practically grew up at the station."

    Vinisky formally became a Raccoon firefighter in July 1973, soon after he turned 18. In his 30-plus years with the department, Vinisky served in numerous roles, including as assistant chief and vice president while working as a shop mechanic at the former Zinc Corp. of America in Potter Township.

    "My brother loved what he was doing, and he was a good firefighter. In recent years, he was often the one who drove the truck to fires," Drew Vinisky said.

    "When he was in control of the pumper (truck), you knew you were in good hands. You could take comfort in that," Failor added.

    "He was a good friend, a good neighbor and a very dependable fireman."

    Visitation for Vinisky will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Darroch Memorial Chapel, 2640 Mill St., Aliquippa. A memorial service will follow.

  4. #4
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    Vinisky, David E.

    Age: 49
    Cause of Death: Struck By/Contact with Object
    Rank: Firefighter
    Nature of Death: Internal Trauma
    Status: Volunteer
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 08/25/2004
    Duty Type: Responding/Returning from Alarm
    Incident Time: 18:15
    Activity Type: Other
    Death Date: 08/25/2004
    Fixed Prop. Use: N/A

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Raccoon Township Independent Volunteer Fire Dept.1
    4061 Patterson Road
    Aliquippa , Pennsylvania 15001
    Chief: Bert Failor

    Initial Summary:
    Firefighter Vinisky died of injuries he received when he was struck by a fire engine at the fire department.

  5. #5
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    Family of Firefighter Killed by Fire Truck Wants Charges Against Driver Dropped

    Tribune-Review via Associated Press

    ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (AP) -- The family of a man who died when he was run over by a fire truck urged police to not pursue charges against the driver, saying the incident was an accident.

    "We are against the charges,'' said Beverly Vinisky, the mother of David Vinisky, who was killed Aug. 25. "I always thought a crime was something you do against a person or property on purpose. An accident is an accident. Everybody in our family feels that way.''

    Frank Brocklebank, 40, of Raccoon Township, was charged Tuesday with causing a fatal accident while not properly licensed, a felony.

    Brocklebank was behind the wheel of a new fire truck at the Raccoon Township Volunteer Fire Department when he backed over Vinisky and another firefighter as they were taking pictures of the truck, authorities said.

    Brocklebank checked the truck's mirrors before trying to back the truck into the fire station's garage, but didn't see Vinisky and Jim Davidson, authorities said. Authorities do not believe his medical condition, which has not been made public, was a factor.

    Vinisky, 49, of Raccoon Township, was pronounced dead shortly after he was stuck. Davidson was treated and released from the hospital for cuts and bruises.

    Raccoon Police Chief David Garber declined to comment.

    Although Brocklebank lost his license a year ago, he was permitted to drive on the department's property. The case falls into a gray area of the state's Vehicle Code, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported for Saturday's paper.

    Under state law, suspended drivers can drive on private property, but the vehicle code lists driveways and parking lots of political subdivisions or agencies as public thoroughfares.

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