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.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013