WELD COUNTY, Colo. – One-quarter of the full-time firefighters at a small fire department in northeastern Colorado were injured in a crash involving a fire engine and a semi-truck that happened early Wednesday on I-76 near Wiggins.
Southeast Weld Fire Protection District Chief Tom Beach said Wednesday morning that four of his department’s 16 firefighters were injured and transported to area hospitals after the crash, which happened around 4:30 a.m.
According to Colorado State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Rob Madden, the fire crew was headed eastbound on I-76 while responding to a call when it was re-routed to a different call.
The crew tried to turn around on the interstate, with its lights and sirens engaged, when the semi-truck, which wasn’t hauling a trailer at the time, collided with the fire engine, Madden said.
The truck collided with the cab of the engine, injuring all four firefighters on board.
Beach said one of the firefighters had to get stitches and suffered from broken bones; another received stitches; and the two others were hospitalized for evaluation as a precaution.
The fire protection district is staffed by 16 career firefighters and a handful of volunteers. Beach said all four who were injured were full-time firefighters. Hudson and Ft. Lupton firefighters and first responders aided in the crash and emergency response.
Madden said the truck driver was not injured in the crash, which is still under investigation.
“We would like to remind everyone to please give emergency vehicles space when they are responding with lights and sirens. This is not just for your safety but for ours as well. The crew that was on this engine is doing well,” the protection district said in a statement posted to Facebook.
The eastbound lanes of the interstate were closed for about two hours while crews cleared the scene.