A 19-year-old Washougal man was seriously injured after he crashed his vehicle into a fire engine that was at the scene of another crash on state Route 14 in Camas.
At approximately 9:20 p.m., the Camas-Washougal Fire Department was called to a single-vehicle crash on westbound 14, just east of the 192nd exit, according to the Washington State Patrol.
Troopers and medical personnel responded to the scene to evaluate the driver, 43-year-old Chad Houghton, according to Trooper Will Finn.
Houghton was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants. While being processed at the Washougal Police Department, he requested medical care, and was taken by ambulance to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, Finn said.
During the response to the crash, a fire engine partially blocked the left lane of westbound traffic, as per standard safety procedure, according to a press release from the CWFD. Emergency lights were activated to protect the medic unit and patient. As firefighters prepared to leave the scene at approximately 10:08 p.m., a 2002 Mazda Protege, driven by Alexander Kolbe, struck the rear passenger side of the fire engine.
“The fire department would like to remind everyone to drive cautiously and slowly when coming upon emergency vehicles working on the roadway,” the release stated. “In 2015 in the United States, five firefighters lost their lives after being hit by vehicles while working on emergency scenes.”
The Mazda was destroyed and Kolbe had to be extricated from the vehicle, according to Finn. Kolbe was wearing safety restraints.
He was treated at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and released, according to Randy Querin, communications specialist for PeaceHealth.
No firefighters were injured, but the engine involved in the crash sustained significant damage and is out of service pending repairs.
Inattention on the part of the driver caused the crash, according to troopers.
Kolbe will face a charge of second-degree negligent driving. Finn noted that the charge does not involve suspected drug or alcohol use.