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Volunteer fire fighter killed when struck while operating at scene of multiple vehicle crash on interstate highway - Illinois.

Loflin ME
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE F2013-05, 2014 Jan; :1-36
On March 5, 2013, a 39-year old male volunteer fire fighter was struck and killed by an enclosed car hauler with trailer (used to haul luxury vehicles) on an interstate highway. The fire department was operating at the scene of a multiple vehicle crash when a fire department pumper, a fire department utility vehicle, and an Illinois State Police vehicle were struck by a car hauler. The fire department was preparing to clear the original incident when this incident occurred. Utility 105 (fire department utility vehicle) was initially positioned approximately ½ - ¾ mile from the incident blocking the left lane of the interstate. The Incident Commander radioed Utility 105 to move behind the state police vehicle. The car hauler was approaching the scene in the left lane and failed to stop for the initial incident. The victim was leaning against the rear passenger seat on the driver's side of Utility 105 with the door open. Members of the fire department were in the median of the interstate and witnessed the car hauler approaching the crash scene at a rate of speed that was excessive for road conditions. Realizing the car hauler was not going to be able to stop, members yelled for everyone to get out of the way of the car hauler. The victim moved away from the utility vehicle. He was struck by the car hauler and pushed onto the shoulder of the interstate. After striking the victim and the utility vehicle, the car hauler struck the state police vehicle and then struck Engine 102. After the crash scene was secured, the Incident Commander initiated a personnel accountability report. Utility 105 was located in the median between a trailer from the initial crash and the car hauler. The victim was located by a state trooper and was unresponsive. Despite receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic life support (BLS) at the scene, and advanced life support (ALS) in the ambulance and in the local hospital's emergency department, the victim died. Contributing Factors: 1. Actions of the driver of the commercial car carrier. 2. Weather. 3. Grade of the interstate highway. 4. Inadequate protection of the highway/roadway work area. 5. Inadequate traffic management. Key Recommendations: 1. Develop pre-incident plans regarding deployment to traffic incidents, scene safety, situational awareness, and traffic control for highway/roadway emergency work zones. 2. Ensure that all members receive training for conducting emergency operations at highway/roadway incidents. 3.Ensure that a continuous scene size-up is conducted and risks are continuously assessed and managed throughout a highway/roadway incident. Additionally, the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office should consider developing and implementing curriculum for the fire service on traffic incident management (awareness level).
Region-5; Fire-fighters; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Emergency-responders; Safety-practices; Work-practices; Motor-vehicles; Training; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-F2013-05; M032014
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Public Safety
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division