South Carolina Firefighters Struck Battling Roadside Brush Fire; One Dead, Another Critically Injured

Reprinted with Permission

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - One firefighter is dead and another in critical condition after a vehicle accident on I-20 Saturday afternoon.

South Carolina Highway Patrol says two fire trucks responded to a brush fire on I-20 in the median near Clemson Road. Two firefighters were outside the truck attending to the fire when they were hit by a car. Around 2:15 PM, a 2006 Chevrolet Impala slowed for the emergency vehicles parked on the side of the highway. A 1997 Chevrolet van then rear ended the Impala. The Impala struck the two fire trucks and then struck the two firefighters.

Larry Irvin, 30, of Columbia was transported by helicopter to Palmetto Health Richland. He is in critical, but stable condition. Columbia Interim Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins says the other firefighter passed away Saturday night at the hospital. Chief Jenkins says both men worked for the Columbia Fire Department. He asks that the community pray for the families as well as members of the Columbia-Richland Fire Department.

Highway Patrol says the drivers of both the Impala and the van were not injured. There were also six passengers in the van ranging in age from one to 35. None of the passengers were injured either.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.

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I had a guy holding the head end of a back board trying to get a patient out at a wreck on a busy road when he told me a car bumped him. Luckily he wasn't hurt. I immediately got on the radio and told a supervisor down the road near the cops to shut the road down until we got the patient out. I was ticked off to say the least.

On the flip side, how many times have we responded to secondary wrecks because traffic gets backed up and people don't pay attention. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Move over laws like where I live will make a difference eventually but still won't prevent the inattentive idiot or drunk from plowing into emergency vehicles.

The problem in this country is people are too distracted when driving. They get in their metal cage and feel invincible. The result is people in smaller cages or no cage end up getting hurt or worse as in this case.

My heart goes out to them and I will pray for them.
"Braithre Thar Gach Ni"
My condolences to our brothers/sisters in Columbia/Richland FD and the family of our lost brother. Also for the gentleman that is fighting for his life.....Don't give up, keep fighting and know we are all in your corner pulling for you and your family.
This is a good example of why the "1 Lane Law" should be Nationwide and not a state to state choice. If our politicians and law makers would make it manditory for all vehicles to give Emergency Apparatus a 1 lane buffer, unnessesary LODD's like these would decrease significantly. Even if only 1 LODD is prevented it would be time and effort well spent on their part.
I 'm in total agreement with you crews’ safety or some strangers’ inconvenience???? I guess there is just going to have to be a lot of inconvenience.
Now as the information comes rolling out, this is more of a tragedy then we all thought. We go out and risk our lives everyday doing what we love and this is how we are repaid. We have lost one brother and have another in critical condition because of a careless, unlicensed, undocumented illegal immigrant.
What happens now...she gets deported,receives no punishment for the life she took or the lives she left in tatters. It's amazing. Our gov't will ship her back to Mexico, if the kids that were in the vehicle with her were born here in the states,legal or not, they stay and we support them and she goes on to live her life with no worries or cares.
I'm all for people coming to our country to make a better life for themselves as long as they do it's this kind of thing that makes us want to close down our borders and say the hell with them all.
When will this madness stop, or atleast slow down.
I will apologize now if I have offended anyone that reads this post but this is hitting close to home.
"Braithre Thar Gach Ni" "Brotherhood Above All"
Undocumented, unlicensed, illegal immigrant from Mexico. She'll be deported, never see her day in court let alone jail. She'll go on living her life like nothing ever happend and will never look back at the wake of devastation she left behind her. Makes me ILL.
Already been picked up and transported to Charlotte for deportation procedure.
Should wait till AFTER court proceedings and send the whole lot back. :'(
Don't take this the wrong way but I am for LEGAL immigration, thats what this country was built on. I didn't hear that but if the driver is illegal then let them face justice and serve their time, then deport there illegal ass back to wherever.
I also send my heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the Brother who lost his life and prayers for the injured. It is more heartbreaking when it is such a callous, uncaring act.

Sometimes I wonder just what the H$%^ is wrong with people! Surely they can see these huge emergency vehicles far down the road but some of them continue on at speed as if it is a "mirage". In our department we have given up traffic control with bodies and use "BIG RED", a twin screw tanker with 3000 gallons of wet stuff on board. We totally block traffic, so idiots like this woman can plaster herself against that instead of fire fighters or first responders having to use a roadway for rescue or a fire fighting operation. Troop sometimes gets antsy about totally blocking the road but when told "This is our scene and when we are done and it is "safe" we will clear for traffic".

And Brothers and Sisters it isn't just the "tag" illegal alien - that can cause this carnage! - We had one where it was a pillar of the community who caused an incident'. Yes I do think the driver in this case should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the laws here in the US. Maybe she will get hers in Mexico.
And Brothers and Sisters it isn't just the "tag" illegal alien - that can cause this carnage!
I hope my comments above haven't left folks thinking I feel this is an Illegal Immigrant issue because that's truely not the point I was trying to make. I agree that anyone could have been behind the wheel. I see it happen too frequently, fortunately not to the extent of a LODD, we just recently had a local LEO slam into the back of an engine on a freeway brakes at all. Fortunately the injuries to the firefighters were minor from flying debris....unfortunately the LEO was killed, with equipment already on the scene it still took almost 45 min. to extricate the LEO from his vehicle.
The point I'm trying to make is because of her immigration status,she will be deported sooner or later and will not have to pay for her crime in our judicial system. She'll go back to Mexico and continue to live her life without a worry in the world while leaving a wake of destruction and life long anguish for our brothers and sisters in SC and the young firefighters family.
Last report I read, she was released by INS awaiting a deportation hearing that could take months, she's walking the streets and living her life normally while SC firefighters and our young brothers family are making arrangements to send him to his finale resting place.
And above all.....If it were a law abiding US citizen that had the crappy luck to be behind the wheel of a vehicle and this happend, he or she would be sitting in a cell with zero chance of being released on bail. Yet this PIG is living the good life and probably on our tax dollars.
My prayers go out to the families and the department.
Unfortunately you've got it right. There are a lot of "what if's" the morning after the night before and this tragic case is no different. The only thing we can do is try to make sure there is some justice done before our Brother's killer escapes, and above all do that which we all do best...
Love, Trust, and Support each other and our families. Our Brotherhood is too strong, the bonds too tight, to allow us to sink to hatred or any of the putrid thoughts that can accompany it.
We are the best of the best, current or retired, and we must re-dedicate ourselves and our honor to the memory of FF Zobel.
"Braithre Thar Gach Ni" "Brotherhood Above All"

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