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Firefighter sues chief for alleged drunk driving accident

A firefighter was seriously injured after his Asst. Chief lost control of the apparatus while drinking

UPPER MOUNT BETHEL TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A volunteer firefighter is suing his fire chief after he suffered serious injuries caused by the chief's alleged drunk driving.

Firefighter Stu Mintz, 41, of the North Bangor Volunteer Co. was assigned to ride with Asst. Fire Chief Zachary Romano, who was 20 at the time, to a parade in July 2010, according to the Express-Times.

Chief Romano had been drinking earlier in the day and while driving himself and Firefighter Mintz back from the parade, lost control of the truck and rolled it onto its side.

Firefighter Mintz's suit says that Chief Romano had stopped for a 30 pack of beer and continued to drink while he drove. After the accident, police said they saw empty beer cans in the apparatus.

Express-Times reports that police tested Romano's BAC at .16 after the accident and was charged with drunken driving. It is unclear how the case was resolved.

Firefighter Mintz says that he broke two vertebrae, tore his rotator cuff, suffered a concussion and is now battling depression and PTSD.

The suit also alleges that the fire company allowed alcohol abuse to occur.

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