Fla. fire captain injured when fire truck overturns in crash
Capt. Daniel Arms was hospitalized with serious injuries after the fire truck he was driving hydroplaned amid heavy rain and ran off the interstate
By Teresa Stepzinski
The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A veteran Jacksonville firefighter was injured when the fire engine he was driving crashed and overturned Sunday morning on Interstate 10.
Jacksonville Fire Chief Keith Powers said Capt. Daniel Arms, 53, was hospitalized with serious injuries following the accident about 9:06 a.m. on I-10 west of Lenox Avenue.
Arms, who was alone in the apparatus, was driving Engine 32 en route to St. Vincent's Medical Center-Riverside when the accident happened, Powers said.
"Currently, he is in stable condition but has very serious injuries," Powers said during a news conference following the accident. "I just ask that every body keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers because he's got a long road of recovery ahead of him."
The Florida Highway Patrol's initial report described Arms' injuries as minor — noting he was taken to UF Health Jacksonville.
Arms had been driving Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Engine 32 to St. Vincent's Medical Center-Riverside to pick up two other firefighters when the accident occurred.
Powers said a witness had called 911 and reported seeing a Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department truck — Engine 32 —hydroplane amid heavy rain and run off the interstate about a quarter-mile west of McDuff Avenue.
He said arriving fire department first responders found Arms lying in the grass outside of the overturned fire engine in the median.
"He had been pulled out of the apparatus [fire truck] by bystanders prior to JFRD's arrival," said Powers, noting Arms was unconscious at that time.
Arms has been with the department about 16 years, officials said.
A half hour earlier, both Engine 32 and Rescue 32 had responded to a patient suffering shortness of breath off Fouraker Road.
He said two of Engine 32's three-firefighter crew then rode to the hospital with Rescue 32 to help care for the patient, who was in critical condition.
Arms initially stayed behind to gather up their equipment, then headed to St. Vincent's to pick up his colleagues, Powers said.
The Highway Patrol said Arms was eastbound on I-10 when he lost control of the 2016 fire engine, which veered to the right off the highway. The truck crashed through a guardrail and went into a grass median where it overturned, according to the Highway Patrol.
The truck was lying on its right side in the median when first responders arrived, the Highway Patrol said.
©2019 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)