Fire engine damaged in Memorial Day crash

bbashioum@demo-mo.comMay 27, 2014 

A Clinton man received minor injuries after his vehicle struck a fire truck on Interstate 49.

West Peculiar Fire District Engine No. 1, a 2010 Pierce 1250 LDH Pumper Truck, was traveling in the left lane of southbound I-49 with its emergency equipment activated in response to an call when the crash occurred just before 4 p.m. May 26.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the fire truck driver, Dennis Downey, 51, Peculiar, was slowing down in order to use the emergency turnaround just north of Harrisonville when a motorist, John Mansfield, 55, traveling behind the engine in a 2009 Chevrolet HHR, hit the back of the fire truck.

Mansfield reportedly told investigators that because he didn’t see the fire truck slowing down after another vehicle driving between him and the engine abruptly moved to the right driving lane, he struck the rear of the fire truck.

The fire truck received minor damage while the HHR received extensive damage.

Mansfield was transported to Research Main Hospital by Harrisonville EMS.

No firefighters were injured, but were taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

A South Metro Fire ambulance responded to the initial medical call and transported the patient.

The crash is still under investigation.

The MSHP also responded to three other motor vehicle injury crashes over the Memorial Day weekend in Cass County.

A motorcyclist received moderate injuries as a result of a crash on northbound 7 Highway, north of Garden City, at 1:34 p.m. May 26.

John Gust, 30, Overland Park, Kan. was driving a 2002 Kawasaki Motorcycle when he was overtaken by a vehicle. Gust braked and began to slide before coming to a rest in the right lane of the highway.

Gust, who was not wearing a Dept. of Transportation-approved helmet, was transported to Research Main by Garden City Fire and EMS.

Brian Bonham, 37, and Adam Bussert, 32, both of Chicago, Ill., received minor injuries as a result of crash near Peculiar at 8:30 p.m. May 25.

Bonham, driving a 2014 Cadillac ATS, struck a deer as they were traveling northbound on Interstate 49 a quarter-mile south of Rt. J. The vehicle received minor damage.

The driver and occupant were treated at the scene by West Peculiar EMS paramedics.

A Joplin woman’s 2001 Chevrolet Malibu received extensive damage after she was traveling southbound on Interstate 49 near mile marker 162 and drove off the left side of the roadway and struck the guard cable at 9:20 p.m. May 25.

Brook Gipson, 21, received minor injuries in the crash.

Investigators said the cause of the crash was weather-related and the driver traveling too fast for conditions.

Gipson was transported to Cass Regional Medical Center in Harrisonville.

The MSHP investigated a total of 295 traffic crashes, including eight fatalities, across the state during the three-day Memorial Day weekend counting period from 6 p.m. May 23-11:59 p.m. May 26.

Troopers also arrested 146 people for driving while intoxicated.

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