UPPER MOUNT BETHEL TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A volunteer firefighter injured in a drunk-driving accident while riding in an apparatus has recently filed a lawsuit against the driver and the department.
Volunteer Firefighter Stuart Mintz of the North Bangor Fire Co. has sued the fire company and Upper Mount Bethel Township, alleging that fire company officials did nothing to discourage a custom of drinking and operating firefighting equipment.
In part of Firefighter Mintz's lawsuit, he claims that he suffered severe and permanent injuries in the 2010 crash, according to the Morning Call.
He was in a North Bangor Fire Co. truck with Assistant Chief Zachary Romano, who was 20 at the time, while riding back from a parade.
Chief Romano, who is also being sued by Firefighter Mintz, was at the wheel when the tanker truck rolled over. His blood alcohol level was 0.16, eight times the limit for drivers under 21.
Chief Romano's charges never went above a misdemeanor, the paper reports, and now that he is 23, may qualify for a legal program that would allow his record to be expunged.
Firefighter Mintz alleges that the township failed to adopt policies that could have prevented the wreck.
He is now asking for more than $150,000 in damages, including lost wages and medical costs.
He reportedly suffered fractured vertebrae, a concussion and torn rotator cuff in the crash.