Texas fire truck struck by alleged drunk driver

Four firefighters were on the rig, but no one was hurt because they quickly swerved away from the car

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH, Texas — A 24-year-old wrong-way driver is suspected of being drunk when he crashed into a Fort Worth fire truck Sunday, pushing the truck into a 180-degree spin, authorities said Monday.

Firefighters from Fire Station 3 in Polytechnic Heights, responding to a medical call, were northbound in the 2300 block of Miller Avenue at 11:34 p.m. Sunday when the fire truck driver saw a vehicle traveling southbound at a "high rate of speed," said firefighter Kyle Clay, a department spokesman.

Clay said the driver drifted into the wrong lane, and the fire truck driver swerved to "avoid a head-on collision." But the man crashed into the side of the 44,000-pound fire truck, sending it spinning 180 degrees.

Four firefighters were on the truck, Clay said. No one was hurt because of the quick swerve to the left. Firefighters are taught to swerve to the right to stay out of traffic, but if the truck had done that, the other driver “would have gone straight into the cab of the truck,” he said.

"There is no doubt someone would have been severely hurt," Clay said. "We would be telling a different story if someone turned right instead of left."

On Monday, the driver was identified as Daniel Espana, 24, by Fort Worth police. He was arrested at the scene and faces a DWI charge. A Fort Worth police spokesman said he was not sure whether Espana was still in jail Monday.

Records show he lives in Haltom City.

The firefighters were back at work within hours on a different truck, Clay said.

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