08/05/10 — Warsaw fire truck damaged in crash

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Warsaw fire truck damaged in crash

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on August 5, 2010 2:14 PM

WARSAW -- One person was injured and a Warsaw Fire Department fire truck sustained major damage recently when the driver of a sport utility vehicle collided with the parked truck.

Units from Warsaw and the Faison Fire Department and Duplin County paramedics were working the scene of a vehicle accident last Thursday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. near the 364 mile marker of Interstate 40.

Warsaw Engine 4 was positioned to block off a lane of traffic for a safety zone. The truck's emergency lights were activated when it was struck from behind by an SUV traveling at about 70 miles an hour.

"It did major damage to the right rear of the fire truck and also major damage to the SUV," State Trooper Billy Wallace said.

The driver was going the speed limit for the road, but the weather conditions were unfavorable at the time of the accident, Wallace said.

"It was pouring down rain," he said.

The driver of the SUV, Benjamin Maxwell Spell, 23, of Oak Island, was not injured in the accident. He was arrested by the state Highway Patrol on charges of violating the state "move over" law for emergency equipment, exceeding safe speed for conditions and careless and reckless driving. His bond was set at $500 unsecured.

The weather was a factor in both the original accident and the accident involving the fire truck and the SUV, officials said.

One person, firefighter Michael Jones of Warsaw, sustained minor injuries. Jones was sitting in the passenger side seat of the fire truck cab when the SUV hit the truck. He was transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital for Treatment.

The trooper reported that one fireman narrowly escaped injury at the time of the accident. Another fireman was standing at the back end of the fire truck and jumped out of the way before the SUV hit the truck.