Pennsylvania: Fire chief nearly run over at accident scene says 'we have close calls all the time'

Kevin Hill remembers the noise Saturday afternoon as he was reaching into the fire truck to get his helmet and help at a crash scene along Guys Mills Road. "It was a big bang. That's when I stepped out and I can't repeat what I said," said Hill, who is chief of Randolph Township Volunteer Fire Department.

What caused the big bang was the door of one of the department's fire trucks being struck by a sport utility vehicle driving down the road at about 5:45 p.m. The fire department had been called out to assist Pennsylvania State Police at the scene of a crash.

Hill was standing outside of one of the fire trucks and was behind truck's open cab door on the right side of the truck. Hill said he was fortunate the fire truck was parked along the sloped edge of the road, so the open door was tilting closed against his back at the time.

As the westbound SUV passed by the fire truck, the passenger mirror on the SUV hit the fire truck's door, denting the door and pushing the door against Hill's back while SUV's mirror broke away. The SUV's bumper also brushed against the gear Hill was wearing.

"If that door had hit me full force, I probably wouldn't be here," Hill said.

"We had three emergency vehicles with their (emergency) lights on," Hill said. "We had a safety zone set up with (traffic) cones out, which is ironic because last month our drill for the month was setting up for a motor vehicle accident."

Trooper Richard Rubano, who investigated the incident, said no charges were filed against the driver of the SUV because of the nature of the incident.

"There were a couple of vehicles in an accident and she saw emergency workers on the side of the road and she moved over for them, but went over too close (toward the fire truck)," Rubano said. "There were no injuries and the damage was minimal."

Since 2006, Pennsylvania has had a "Steer Clear" law that requires drivers to slow down and move over when they encounter an emergency scene, traffic stop or disabled vehicle. Drivers can be fined up to $250 and if someone is injured, a driver can face up to a 90-day driver's license suspension.

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