1 dead after pickup hits Fla. firefighter responding to crash

A vehicle hit two fire trucks and then a lieutenant with Palm Harbor Fire Rescue Squad 65 who was on foot

By Josh Fiallo
Tampa Bay Times

PALM HARBOR, Fla. — A pickup truck driver ran into a firefighter while she was responding to a crash on U.S. 19, killing the driver and critically injuring the firefighter, Palm Harbor Fire Rescue said.

The crash happened just before 3:30 a.m. in the northbound lanes of U.S. 19 at Innisbrook Drive. Two fire trucks had come to the scene in response to an earlier collision.

The driver of the GMC Denali pickup, who was not been identified, ran into the two fire trucks then hit the 38-year-old firefighter, who was on foot, and a fire hydrant, authorities said. The firefighter is a lieutenant with Palm Harbor Fire Rescue Squad 65 but she was not immediately identified.

The pickup driver was taken to Advent Health North Pinellas, where he later died, the Florida Highway Patrol said.  A driver involved in the initial crash was also taken to Advent Health with minor injuries.

The firefighter was taken to Bayfront hospital with a number of injuries and was listed in critical but stable condition Wednesday morning, the Highway Patrol said.

Troopers said they do not know why the pickup driver crashed. The initial crash occurred after a car driven by a 53-year-old Tarpon Springs man was rear-ended by a 35-year-old Clearwater woman at a stoplight.

Northbound lanes of U.S. 19 between Innisbrook Drive and Colonel Boulevard were shut down Wednesday morning and will remain closed for several hours.

(c) 2021 Tampa Bay Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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