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Firefighter taken to hospital after crashing bush party

BX-Swan Lake firefighters were called to a report of a fire on Hartnell Road Wednesday night around 10 p.m.
Image Credit: SOURCE/ Google Street View
June 27, 2013 - 10:25 AM

VERNON - A firefighter was struck by a fleeing vehicle last night.

BX-Swan Lake Fire Chief Bill Wacey says reports of a fire above Hartnell Road came in around 9:55 p.m. Wednesday night. The flames were high and easily visible from the fire hall. "It stuck out like a sore thumb," Wacey says.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they discovered a rapidly dispersing bush party and a pile of burning pallets.

"When our firefighters got there, the cars were like rats leaving a sinking ship," Wacey says.

In the rural, wooded area, there was only one way out: down Hartnell Road. It's believed the fleeing Ford F-350 struck a firefighter who was hiking up the dirt road on foot. 

After the firefighter was hit, another firefighter prevented the 26-year-old driver of the pick-up truck from leaving the area. More department members joined the effort standing by until police arrived. Mounties put the man through the paces of a roadside sobriety test and he failed. He was taken into custody for impaired driving.

The assistant fire chief was taken to Vernon Jubilee Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Wacey says he's now back home and on the mend.

Firefighters put out the bonfire in short order, and Wacey estimates the party comprised of about 4-5 cars. "They could have been jam-packed with people though, I can't say how many people were really there."

He doubts it was a year-end grad party. "The individuals were a bit older than that," he says.

The suspect was questioned at the station and released on a promise to appear. He is scheduled for court Aug. 29 where he faces charges of impaired driving. His vehicle was impounded.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230, or tweet @charhelston

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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