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DC firefighter hurt in crash: 'I don't feel like I did anything wrong'

Despite a report that cited Dane Smother Jr.’s lack of experience as a contributing factor to the crash, he thinks someone else should be held accountable


By FireRescue1 Staff

WASHINGTON — A firefighter who was critically injured after being crushed between two fire trucks does not think he is to blame in the incident, despite reports citing his lack of experience as a contributing factor.

NBC Washington reported that Dane Smothers Jr., who spent three months in the hospital and underwent nine surgeries, thinks someone else should be held accountable for the August incident in which he was pinned by a hook and ladder while standing on the bumper of a truck trying to get a hose.

An internal report of the incident said the fire trucks’ positioning created blind spots for the drivers, and said Smothers’ rookie status and lack of experience also contributed to the crash. 

Smothers, who plans to meet with Fire Chief Gregory Dean about the report, disagrees.

“I’m waking up in pain every day,” he said. “I’m living with this, and I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. I mean, I wasn’t driving the truck. I didn’t run through the street. I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. But I’m out of a career, pretty much.”

Smothers had a lung removed and surgery on his spinal cord after the incident. He also suffered broken ribs and a crushed skull, is blind in one eye and cannot use his left hand.

Still, he hopes to return to the department one day in some capacity.

 

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