Monterey Park, CA- Two fire trucks responding to a call in Monterey Bay collided Wednesday afternoon and slammed into a restaurant leaving 15 people injured, six of which were firefighters
Police are still trying to determine why the two trucks, one from the Alhambra Fire Dept. and the other from Monterey Bay, collided.
According to reports, both trucks were responding to calls around 3:00 p.m. when they collided at the intersection of Garfield and Emerson avenues, the Los Angeles Times reported. The impact of the collision sent the fire truck from the Monterey Department careening into a Chinese restaurant on the corner.
CHP Officer Doris Peniche said, “They both had their full lights and sirens on as they approached the intersection. They collided, causing one of the engines to crash into the building.”
Eleven employees of Lu’s Dumpling House and several customers in the restaurant where injured. One of the employees of the restaurant was critically injured. Eight other employees, patrons and pedestrians suffered minor to more serious injuries but surprisingly there were no fatalities.
According to the Los Angeles Times, six of injured were fire fighters, three from Monterey and three from Alhambra.
Christina Lee, who works at Monterey Park Florist across from the restaurant, heard a loud boom before the accident. “All of the customers ran outside,” she said according to the LA Times. “It was really bad. I hope everyone is OK.”
Another witness said the collision impact felt like an earthquake.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the fire fighters from the Monterey wear headsets so there is a possibility that they didn’t hear the other truck approaching. It isn’t uncommon for trucks from different stations to respond to the same call.
Monterey Park Fire Department Chief Jim Birrell said when fire department emergency vehicles are en route to a call with emergency lights and sirens on; it is policy to enter the intersection at a safe speed and make certain it is clear before proceeding
The fire truck remained in the restaurant for most of the afternoons as the relevant authorities conducted their investigation. It is unclear if the restaurant sustained structural damage, but it will take time to rebuild.
This was an unusual accident that left a great deal of damage in its wake. All of the injury victims but especially the critically injured individual will be faced with costly medical bills. The restaurant owners will have to rebuild to find a different location. This accident will be costly to all the victims.
When the investigation is complete, a truck accident attorney can help all the victims get the money the need to pay their medical bills or property repair costs. It is always in the best interest of an accident victim to speak with an accident lawyer before they speak to anyone else about an accident settlement. This can keep a victim from settling for smaller compensation they need and deserve.